Charlene Ortiz

South Roxana | Sunday, February 12 2023 |

Charlene A. “Charlee” Ortiz, 73, passed away Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, at Alton Memorial Hosptial.

Born March 23, 1949, in Highland, she was a daughter of Alvin C. and Alberta F. (Korte) Hencke. 

She married Russell Ortiz on Feb. 16, 1965, in Clayton, MO. 

Charlee worked at the U.S. Army Depot in Granite City as manager of the bowling alley, juggling a career with raising a family - a sign of her devotion to her husband and children. When the grandchildren came along, she relished in being a full-time grandmother. Always fun-loving, she was the “fun” mom, sharing her quick wit with her children's friends on many occasions around the kitchen table. She also never shied away from speaking her mind; she was well-known for sharing her opinion and telling it like it is, even when it may not have been what friends and family wanted or expected to hear. Her beloved husband Russell fondly called her “Bubs” or “Honey,” and she in turn affectionately called him (some may say "yelled") "Russell." 

The simplest pleasures in life brought great joy to Charlee. She loved spending time with family and friends on the “porch” at the trailer. She never met a stranger, and new friends often became extended family. They say laughter is the best medicine, and the joy and humor Charlee had and shared was enough to last four lifetimes. As such a close-knit family, we laughed always, and learned from our mother how to poke fun at one another, always in love.

In addition to her husband of nearly 58 years, she is also survived by a son, Louis Anthony (Stacy) Ortiz of Rosewood Heights, IL; three daughters, Michelle (Robert) Zarges of Brighton, IL, Angelia (Brett) Fulgham of Rosewood Heights, and Christina Ortiz of Cocoa Beach FL; eight grandchildren, Kayleigh, Brooke (Kyle), JP (Alyssa), Jake, Tori, Jarrah (Jacob), Madelyn, and Logan; six great-grandchildren, Paisley, Parker, Vada, Hadley, Leo and Ryder; and brother, Donald (Carmen) Hencke of Roxana, IL. 

She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Elizabeth Jean Gordon (Lew); and a brother, Joseph Clayton (Shirley). 

Cremation services entrusted to Paynic Home for Funerals, with an online guestbook available at

Obit Provided By:
Paynic Home for Funerals

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