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Reyes Ortega Fernandez
1919 - 2009
A self-taught artist, born 1919 in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Reyes Ortega Fernandez was the oldest of 16 children. Growing up consisted of working on the farm, swimming in irrigation canals & rivers, horse back riding & playing baseball. Christmas was a big family meal; candy, fruit and one present that all the kids could share. After fighting in World War II, he returned from Europe to work in Philadelphia where he met his wife, Ruth, at Wagner’s Dance Hall. They moved to NJ & raised 2 daughters. After retirement he began woodcarving, painting and doing paintings for A Square Deal.
January 2009 my Dad had his 90th birthday. As he predicted he ended up in the hospital and was diagnosed with prostate cancer that mastisized into his liver. I am sad to say he is not carving or painting anymore. Many of his carvings and paintings have sold, few remain. Here you will see most of the work he has done over the past 20 some years.
Reyes Fernandez. Age 90, born in Las Cruces, New Mexico and a long time resident of Moorestown, New Jersey passed away in the early morning hours Thursday, August 13, 2009. His marriage of 58 years to Ruth (McChesney), proved his devotion as a loving and dedicated husband. He was the proud father of Christine O’Brien (deceased) and Colleen Hammond; wonderful father-in-law to Edward O’Brien and Stephen Hammond; and a loving grandfather of Erin Zippel (Ron), Shane O’Brien and Noah Hammond. Reyes was a veteran of World War II. He was also a career machinist, but after retirement pursued his passion of wood-carving and other artistic activities. A celebration of Reyes’s life was held on Saturday, August 22nd. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Lighthouse Hospice, 1040 Kings Highway, Suite 100, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034.