Dolores (1925-2013) and Christina Elissa Tsehai Ortiz (1954-2019)

Photograph of Dolores and Tina and a photograph of a painting of the two by Adelina Ortiz de Hill, sister-in-law of the one and the aunt of the other.
(To tell the truth the photograph of the painting doesn't do it justice, but I promise to do better in the future.)

Frank V. Ortiz Jr. To Marry Mary Dolores de Avila Duke, Daughter of Army Colonel

[I think there is an error here because Dolores' father was already a General in the early 1940s]

Colonel and Mrs. James Thomas Duke of Fort Myer, Va. announce the engagement of their daughter Mary Dolores de Avila Duke and Frank Vincent Ortiz Jr., the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank V. Ortiz of Santa Fe. Colonel Duke is the Commanding Officer at Fort Myer. Miss Duke attended Georgetown Visitation Convent and was graduated from Ashley Hall, Charleston, S.C. She later studied at the University of Grenoble at Grenoble France. She made her debut in Charleston S.C. in 1944. The future bridegroom was graduated from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. and has attended summer session at the University of New Mexico, the University of Madrid, and the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. He served wit the 20th Air Force in the Southwest Pacific Theater during the war. He is with the Department of State in the Office of Near Eastern Affairs, Washington D. C. the wedding will take place in May.

About the Wedding

Miss Mary Dolores Duke, daughter of Col. and Mrs James Thomas Duke of Fort Myer became the bride yesterday of Mr Frank Vincent Ortiz Jr. He is the son of Mr and Mrs Ortiz of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Col. Duke is the commanding officer of Fort Myer. The ceremony took place in the post chapel at Fort Myer with Brig. General Patrick J. Ryan, deputy chief of chaplains officiating. There was a reception at the Officier's Club. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore an ivory satin wedding gown trimmed in seed pearls. Her veil was of illusion and heirloom lace and she carried stephanotis, white orchids and lilies of the valley. The maid of honor was Miss Mary Beal of Philadephia and he bridal attendants were Mrs George Solatan and Mrs Joseph Evans. They wore light blue organza dresses, carried daisies and wore daisy headbands. Mr Robert Reader served as the best man. The ushers were Lt. R. Leonard Duke, brother of the bride, Lt. James Pitt, Mr. John Power and Mr John Bischoff. The former Miss Duke attended Georgetown Visitation Convent and was graduated from Ashely Hall in Charelston S.C. She spend five years in Europe where she attended the University of Grenoble, France. In 1944, the bride made her debut in Charleston. Mr. Ortiz is a graduate of Georgetown University and served in the Air Force during the last war. He is presently with the State Department attending their foreign service institute prior to assignment abroad.

Christina Ortiz Is Christened in Addis Ababa

Christina Elissa Tsehai, the infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Vincent Ortiz Jr. was christened in an intimate ceremony in the Church of the Holy Saviour in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Sunday March 21, 1954. Monsignor Pierre Monnens, the Papal Legate to Ethiopia performed the rites. Miss Mary Mitchell of Santa Fe, presently Directress of the Empress Mennen Handicraft School sponsored the child and Mr. Clarence Breaux of the American Embassy acted as proxy for the absent Godfather, Mr. John Powers of Washington. The wife and daughter of the American Ambassador to Ethiopia, Dr. Joseph Simonson, and a small circle of close friends of the parents witnessed the ceremony.

Miss Christina, who met the solemnity of the occasion admirably, wore a long embroidered French christening gown trimmed in heirloom lace, the gift of her maternal grandmother, Mrs. Guadalupe Duke of Washington.

Following the ceremony the infant's parents received nearly sixty of their diplomatic colleagues in a reception at their home on the Embassy Compound. The young honoree, who was born on March 1, responded to the many toasts to her health with enthusiasm. After taking an appropriate sip of champagne from a silver cup, the gift of Miss Mitchell, she retired leaving those who had gather to honor her to enjoy the refreshments which had been prepared for the occasion.

Mr. Ortiz is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank V. Ortiz of this city. He is the Third Secretary of the American Embassy in Addis Ababa. He and his wife, the former Dolores Duke of Washington, D. C. have been in Ethiopia since September of his year and they are enjoying their tour of duty in that spectacular country very much.

Other New Mexicans aside from Mr. Ortiz and Miss Mitchell now in Ethiopia include Mr. and Mrs. John Dietrich, Mr. Anselmo Bernal of Mora and the wife of the Counselor of the American Embassy, John Dorman, the form Miss Clifford Anderson.

Diplomat’s wife loved foreign service

The New Mexican | Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013 7:15 pm

Dolores Duke Ortiz, 88, passed away at home in Santa Fe on Dec. 27, 2013. She was the spouse of the late Ambassador Frank V. Ortiz.

Born Aug. 8, 1925, at Fort Riley, Kan., she was the daughter of Gen. James T. Duke and Guadalupe O’Neill Duke. She referred to her upbringing as that of an “Army brat.” Her father was posted in Europe after World War II, and she lived and studied in France and Germany.

She met her future husband, Frank V. Ortiz, in Washington, D.C., when he was a student at Georgetown University. They were married May 2, 1953, at the Fort Myer Post Chapel in Virginia and celebrated 52 years of marriage before his death in 2005.

As the wife of a career diplomat, Ortiz shared her husband’s posts in Ethiopia, Mexico, the District of Columbia, Peru, Uruguay, Barbados, Guatemala, Panama and Argentina before finally returning to Santa Fe in 1990.

Argentina was one of her favorite posts. Her son James Ortiz said his mother loved the diversity of the foreign service, the chance to meet interesting people and the challenge of adapting to new cities and other cultures.

Ortiz was a faithful member of the congregation of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and was active in many organizations in Santa Fe, including the National Dance Institute and Friends of the Palace of the Governors.

Ortiz is survived by her brother Leonard Duke and his wife, Rosetta, of Louisville, Ky. She also leaves her four children: Tina of Santa Fe; Frank Jr. and his wife, Susan, and children Corinna and Andrew of Potomac, Md.; Stephen and his wife, Mary, and children Victoria Marie and Alexander of Taos; James and his wife, Nicola, and children Cassian and Lucas of Tampa, Fla.

Visitation will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, at Berardinelli Family Funeral Services, 1399 Luisa St. A Mass celebrating Ortiz’s life will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 2, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. She will be laid to rest with her late husband at the Rosario Cemetery in Santa Fe at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 3.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions to the Ambassador and Mrs. Frank V. Ortiz Palace of the Governors Endowment Fund, c/o Museum of New Mexico Foundation, P.O. Box 2065, Santa Fe, NM 87505. Contributions also may be made online at

CHRISTINA ELISA TSEHAI ORTIZ Christina Elisa Tsehai Ortiz, born March 1, 1954 passed away in Albuquerque, NM on January 31, 2019. Best known as Tina, she was the eldest daughter of Amb. Frank V. Ortiz and Dolores D. Ortiz of Santa Fe, NM and was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Tina retired and returned to live in Santa Fe, NM in 2003 after a career as a petroleum geologist for Occidental Petroleum with assignments in Scotland, Ecuador and California and with Basic Petroleum in Guatemala. She was a very passionate geologist. Tina is survived by her brother Frank V. Ortiz, his wife Susan of Potomac, MD and their children Corinna and Andrew; her brother Stephen R.H. Ortiz, his wife Mary of Taos, NM and their children Victoria Marie and Alexander; her brother James T. Ortiz and his wife Nicola of Tampa, FL and their children Cassian and Lucas as well as numerous cousins and other relatives in NM. It was her wish to have her ashes spread on the family's ranch property in Pacheco Canyon, behind Tesuque, NM and her wish will be fulfilled later this Spring. Tina will be greatly missed by all who shared in her life.  Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on Feb. 8, 2019