Cover photo for Jetulio Victor Pongetti, Jr.'s Obituary
Jetulio Victor Pongetti, Jr. Profile Photo
1928 Jetulio Victor Pongetti, Jr. 2024

Jetulio Victor Pongetti, Jr.

October 23, 1928 — January 17, 2024

Jetulio Victor Pongetti, Jr., age 95, also known as "Vic," "Junior," "J. Victor," and "Gramps," passed away peacefully on January 17, 2024, surrounded by family. Vic was born on October 23, 1928, in Shelby, MS, into an Italian immigrant family, who were sharecroppers. He was the 2nd of 9 children of Jetulio Victor, Sr., and Amelia (née Avaltroni) Pongetti. As a child he worked on the farm with his father and grandfather, Adamo. For the rest of his life, he described himself as "a sharecropper's kid from Mississippi." After high school, he attended Mississippi State University, graduating in 1950 with a degree in Agriculture Engineering.

As a pilot in the US Navy, he flew the Cougar aircraft off the deck of the Midway Aircraft Carrier and made some of the best friends of his life in his Hellraisers squadron. After finishing his commission in the Navy, he served in the Reserves and went to Vanderbilt Law School. A good friend from law school suggested that he practice law in Albuquerque, NM, where he became the law clerk for the Supreme Court Chief Justice, James M. McGee. Subsequently, he worked for the Bellamah Corporation, became a partner at the Johnson and Lanphere Law Offices, and built the firm Pongetti, Wilson and Pryor. As a prominent real estate attorney, he worked on many negotiations, including the Taylor Ranch Subdivision. In 1990, he pursued a Master's Degree in Counseling at the University of New Mexico, after which he maintained his own law practice with several long-term clients, until retiring at the age of 88 from the "law business," as he would say.

In 1963, he married Lou Delle Fidel, and they had one daughter, Gina. Although they divorced, they had a kind and respectful relationship. In 1987, he met Rita Heidinger while serving on the St Joseph's Foundation Board. They were married in a surprise wedding ceremony in 1992. They enjoyed hiking the Grand Canyon, traveling to Italy to visit family, gardening, making gingerbread houses with their grandchildren and extravagant gingerbread houses including a model of St. Basil's Cathedral with his friends, cooking delicious meals with the "food group," watching football with friends and spending time with their grandchildren.

He was generous with his time and finances. He has served on the Board of Directors for All-Faith's Receiving Home, the Board of Directors for St. Joseph's Foundation, and facilitated Beginning Experience weekends to help those in the healing process after divorce.

He was a moral man throughout his life and in his later years he trusted in Jesus as Lord. He enjoyed gardening, making Easter bread and delivering it hot to friends and family, cooking and the importance of eating food when it's hot, calculating the right balance of cake and ice cream on his plate, and watching his grandkids compete in anything - never missing a game or performance. He was a patriot to the core and felt that anything was possible in America.

He was described by one of his Italian relatives as "a man of great humanity, of good will at all times, an example of commitment towards everyone and also towards those, like us, who lived far from him. It was so wonderful to see his care, interest and pride regarding his relatives, his origins and his Italian roots." Indeed, his commitment to his family extended across the country and around the world, but his home was always the center of Pongetti family life. Vic hosted many family reunions, holiday gatherings, and family members and friends in need.

Vic was preceded in death by his parents, Jetulio Victor, Sr., and Amelia Pongetti; his brothers, Charles Pongetti, Anthony Pongetti, Robert Gene (Bob) Pongetti, Adam Pongetti, and Raymond Pongetti; his sisters, Elizabeth Pringle and Lillian Pongetti; and a sister-in-law, Vicki Bachechi.

Vic is survived by his wife, Rita Pongetti; his daughter and son-in-law, Gina and Sandy Beauchamp; their children, Ben (Abigail), Emma, and Luke (Alexandria); his great-grandson, Desmond; Rita's daughter and son-in-law, Shannon and Jeff Adragna and their children, Nicolas, and Mathew; Rita's daughter, Pamela Heidinger, and her sons, Dennis Chavez II and Grant Chavez; his sister, Delores Pongetti; sisters-in-law: Mitzi Pongetti and Dorothea Pongetti; and many beloved nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews. He is also survived by a host of wonderful family in Italy, friends and colleagues.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 10, 2024, at 2:00 p.m., at FRENCH - Westside. He will be interred at Santa Fe National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Casa Angelica, https://casa-angelica.com/donations/ 5629 Isleta Blvd. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105.

The family would like to extend their appreciation for the excellent and tender care from precious caregivers that helped him while he was still living at home, Road Runner Hospice and the staff at A Love for Life. 

To send flowers to the family in memory of Jetulio Victor Pongetti, Jr., please visit our flower store.

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Memorial Service

Saturday, February 10, 2024

2:00 - 3:30 pm (Mountain time)

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