On April 9, 2023, God called Gerard (aka Jed) home quite unexpectedly. His wife, Deirdre (Bath) Ortiz, and two of his daughters, Andrea (Ortiz) Meyer and Alisha Ortiz were at his side when he passed. Jed was preceded in death by his father, Joseph V. Ortiz, mother, Mary C. (Torre) Ortiz, brother Vincent Ortiz, and second wife, Jennifer (Dunnuck) Ortiz. He was survived by his wife, Deirdre Ortiz; sister, Gera (Ortiz) Wade; all of his children, David Ray, Toni (Ortiz) Colton, Tina Ortiz, Andrea Meyer and Alisha Ortiz; and seven grandchildren. Jed was born in Albion, MI in 1955 and lived a life full of loving family and many adventures. He had extraordinary talent with music and painting. He could play literally any instrument with strings and quickly master them. More recently he had used drumming as a rehab from some surgery and would spend hours playing. His home and his children’s were filled with lovely paintings he did for various family members. Jed had a true zest for life and made friends with nearly everyone.
Jed often spent his time in the summers riding his motorcycles. He felt totally free when riding. For many years he rode with the American Legion Riders from Post 298 as a way to honor his father who served our country in WW2. He proudly served as chaplain and vice president of the ALR for several years. He continued to see value in supporting veterans’ groups, so if you have the desire to honor Jed with a donation, please consider a local veterans’ group like the American Legion Oscar Brady Post 298 – "Veterans still serving God and Country", http://www.michiganpost298.org/ or Community Inclusive Recreation, serving Battle Creek and Calhoun County, http://www.cirfun.com/ . This organization has been very meaningful to our family.
Jed’s family and friends will always have good memories of hanging out with Jed and having long talks filled with laughter and debate. We will be gathering for a rock jam and memories of Jed at Battle Creek Friends Church on Sunday April 23 at 4:00. Please bring your instrument to play as a way to honor Jed.
Arrangements were entrusted to Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services, 723 US Hwy 27 N, Marshall, MI 49068. Please visit https://www.kempffuneralhome.com to view the online obituary, sign the guest book, and leave condolences to the family. Please visit the funeral home for assistance with memorials.