Ernest “Vern” Ortega, 62 of Santa Rosa, passed away at UNMH in Albuquerque, NM on Tuesday, October 15, 2019. Ernest was born in Las Vegas, NM to Jesus Velasquez and Agatha Ortega on August 18, 1957. Ernest was reared in Santa Rosa where he attended school. After high school he joined the Army in service to his country and following his tour of duty, Ernest returned to Santa Rosa where he was employed at Tommy Martinez’s Chevron and later as an automotive engineer for Bozo’s Garage for 30 plus years. Ernest was a parishioner at Saint Rose of Lima and was a member of several car clubs. As Ernest was an automotive enthusiast, he spent a great deal of time working on cars, building hot rods, racing and showing his classic cars in various car shows. He also enjoyed riding his Harley and especially enjoyed the time he spent with his family. Ernest is preceded in death by his father; Jesus Velasquez, brother; Jesus “Jesse” Velasquez, sister; Marcella Velasquez Romero and his grandparents; Donicio and Margie Armijo. Ernest is survived by his mother; Agatha Jaramillo, sister; Connie and husband Chris Manzanares, brothers; Leroy Sanchez and Rebecca Alpa Carte, Manuel and wife Marcella Velasquez, Dennis and wife Cordelia Chavez, Joe and wife Michelle Chavez and Anthony Velasquez, Aunt; Lorenza Vigil and Uncle; Aflonso Ortega. He is also survived by his children; Theresa Bachicha, Treshunna Gonzales, Ernestina Baca, Andria Chavez and Jesus “Jesse” Chavez and Grandchildren; Andres Griego, Cameron Griego, Jose Saiz, Nicolette Gonzales, Jarius Apodaca, Kasidi Chavez, Aurelio Ortega, Jace Apodaca, Jarric Apodaca, Andre Chavez, Kaidyn Chavez Kynadii Zamora, Kyle Chavez, Jessina Chavez and Alexis Chavez, Honorary Brothers; James “Bozo” Cordova, Eric Aragon, Sr. and Roger Encinias, as well as numerous family and friends. Recitation of the Most Holy Rosary will be Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 10:00 A.M. at Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Santa Rosa followed by the funeral Mass, celebrated by Father Christopher Bernabe. Interment of cremains will follow at Saint Joseph Cemetery. Urnbearers will be; Dennis Chavez, Manuel Velasquez, Anthony Velasquez, Leroy Sanchez, Joe Chavez, Eric Aragon, Alex Velasquez, Roger Encinias, James “Bozo” Cordova, Jesus “Jesse” Chavez, Jose Saiz, Andres Griego, Andre Chavez, Eric Aragon, Jr., Jason Aragon, Bryan Aragon, Manuel Velasquez, Jr., Chris Manzanares, Chris Manzanares, Jr., Cody Sanchez, Harold Sisneros and Carlos Chavez. All arrangements have been entrusted to Chavez Funeral Home, 923 S. Third St., Santa Rosa, NM 88435. 575-472-3369. To place an on-line tribute please visit www.chavezfuneralhome.com.