Cover photo for Buddy Cortese's Obituary
Buddy Cortese Profile Photo

Buddy Cortese

September 22, 1946 — September 14, 2023

Fort Sumner

Buddy Cortese

Ralph W. “Buddy” Cortese, 76, long time resident of Fort Sumner, NM passed away on September 14, 2023 at UMC in Lubbock, TX. Buddy was born September 22, 1946 in Clovis, NM to the home of Ralph and Elizabeth “Lib” Adkisson Cortese, both of whom preceded him in death. He grew up and attended school in Fort Sumner, graduating with the FSHS class of 1964.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Mary Ann (Robinson) Cortese, two daughters, Sarah (Jimmie) Fitzgerald of Fort Sumner, NM and Elizabeth (Ryan) Autrey of Texico, NM, and their children Della, Slate, Adalyn and Nathan respectively. He also helped raise a great niece, Misty (Chris) McShanag of Glendale, AZ. Their children are Hunter, Caleb, Madison and Heath. He is also survived by a brother, Nick (Karen) Cortese of Fort Sumner, NM and a sister, LuAnn Cortese Albuquerque, NM and a host of nieces, nephews and a community of friends.

He was a lifelong member of Fort Sumner First Baptist Church and served as Financial Advisor. Buddy graduated from New Mexico State University in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Ag Economics. During his senior year he was elected President of Sigma Rho fraternity and facilitated the obtainment of a national charter converting the organization to Sigma Chi Fraternity.
Upon graduation, he began his professional career as a loan officer at Production Credit Association in Roswell, NM. He was appointed to the vice-president position before he decided to return home to the family farming and ranching business.

During his involvement in agriculture, Buddy continued his interest in banking and finance. He was subsequently appointed to the board of directors for Production Credit Association in Clovis, NM in 1987. He served nine years, four of which were in the Chairman position. He later was elected to the district board of directors of Farm Credit Bank of Texas located in Austin, Texas. He served in this position from 1995 to 2022, including 12 years as board chairman. Buddy also chaired the bank’s compensation committee. Buddy’s financial expertise in the agricultural lending field also led to his election to the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac) Board in Washington, DC where he served from 2003 to 2008. In 2012 he was elected to the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation located in Jersey City, New Jersey. Buddy currently served as Chairman of the Corporation’s Governance Committee.

In 2023 he was inducted into the Farm Credit Bank of Texas prestigious Academy of Honor. This designation afforded him the opportunity to give a scholarship to the University of his choice. Buddy’s choice was his Alma Mater, NMSU, and the recipient to be an agricultural economic student. He recently was named the NMSU Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business Outstanding Alumni.

Buddy also enjoyed working on the mission field. He and his family were strong supporters of Disciples Village located in Haiti. What started as an orphan rescue mission is now an expansive effort dedicated to advancing third world villages with the light of Jesus Christ.

Visitation for family and friends will be held on Sunday, September 17, 2023 from 1pm to 6pm at Chavez Funeral Home. Funeral Services will be Monday, September 18, 2023 at 2pm at the Church on the Hill, 25203 US 84, Fort Sumner, NM 88119 with Reverend Bill Howard officiating. Pallbearers will include Brett Cortese, Jay Cortese, Ross Cortese, Ryan Autrey, Jimmie Fitzgerald, and Chris McShanag.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to:
Disciples Village
PO Box 2101
Lexington SC 29071

Services are under the direction of Chavez Funeral Home, 830 N. Fifth Street, Fort Sumner, NM. (575) 355-2311.

Past Services


Sunday, September 17, 2023

1:00 - 6:00 pm (Mountain time)

Chavez Funeral Home - Fort Sumner

830 N 5th St, Fort Sumner, NM 88119

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Monday, September 18, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

The Church On The Hill - Fort Sumner

25203 US-84, Fort Sumner, NM 88119

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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