Vail Daily obituary: Olympia Marquez, 1919-2011 |

Vail Daily obituary: Olympia Marquez, 1919-2011

Special to the Daily
Vail, CO Colorado

Olympia Dolores Ortega Marquez passed away peacefully on Oct. 24. She lived her entire life of nearly 93 years in Santa Barbara, Calif., and devoted much of it to her family, friends and community. She was the daughter of the late William Paul Ortega and Rosalie Cota Ortega and the sister of the late Timothy Badillo and Barbara Ortega (Ben) Cordero. She is survived by her loving brother, Henry Ortega, of Santa Barbara, and numerous nieces and nephews on both sides of the Ortega and Marquez families, some residing in the Vail area.

Her beloved husband of 68 years, Edward D. Marquez, preceded her in death in 2010. She is survived by three sons: Edward “Tinker” Marquez, of Santa Barbara, Calif.; Walter (Jenni) Marquez, of Eagle; and Robert (Norma) Marquez, of Santa Barbara, Calif.; along with five grand children: Lia Marquez; Marquez; Jeffrey (Debbie) and Molly Marquez (originally from Vail); Matthew and Scott. Two great-grandsons are expected in the coming months.

As a descendant of Vicente Ortega, the recipient of an original Spanish land grant along the California coast, Olympia was fiercely proud of her Spanish heritage. Family names dot the street corners in the City of Santa Barbara – Ortega, Cota, Carrillo and others. For decades, she was an active member of Native Daughters of the Golden West, allowing her to volunteer in a variety of community activities. One of her favorites was Fiesta. She loved the dances and Spanish songs of yesteryear and enjoyed the telling of her Spanish roots.

The love of family and the past were clearly evident, as she painstakingly researched volumes of historical records at the Old Mission and Santa Barbara Library for her family genealogy. The information in her hand-written notes took years to compile and is a treasured document to her family.

One of her many passions was helping the Poor Clare Sisters at the Old Mission. She was a devout member of her church, Holy Cross Chapel. She was a pillar within her family and was always available to friends and those in need, giving comfort with food, housing and financial support, as well as compassion, love and prayer.

Olympia was active with her husband, Eddie, in the Optimist Club, helping youth in positive ways. “Limp,” as she was called, had a close-knit group of friends and family with whom she met to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. They were appropriately named “The Knitting Club,” and they became an excellent source of the latest recipe or newest joke.

She will be missed by her family and her few remaining friends on this earth, but what a reunion she is having as she leaves this world and enters into God’s eternal home, taking her place by His side. Memorial services will be Friday in Santa Barbara. Funeral services followed by burial will be Saturday in Santa Barbara.

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