Cover photo for Rainy Ortiz's Obituary
Rainy Ortiz Profile Photo
1973 Rainy 2023

Rainy Ortiz

July 5, 1973 — December 7, 2023

What beauty, creativity, and brilliance came into this world when Rainy Dawn Ortiz was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico on July 5, 1973. From her first breath, she made a unique creative path. She came to us when our Native nations were gathering for sovereignty, to affirm our place in the stories given to us to care for through time. She took her place in the story. She was named Rainy Dawn to be a blessing, like clouds and rains that appear to feed the plants, the People when there is little moisture and rain. Her appearance was a dawning of a fresh story. Our beloved daughter, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, niece passed on the evening of December 6, 2023 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, surrounded by family. She was well cared for by family, friends, and the staff of the UNM Cancer Center as she moved gracefully and bravely through the months of her cancer journey.

Rainy Dawn will be remembered for her beautifully imagined and crafted beadwork. It was an expression that was uniquely her own, fed by the thoughts and dreams of her family, her grandparents, and the places and experiences that formed them and turned them toward beauty. Her artwork appeared in major magazines, on book covers even as far away as Italy, and are treasured and worn by her family and people all over the world.

She was also a poet. As a child she wanted to write novels like Stephen King. Her first poems were published in a Teenage Parent Program student publication in Tucson 1990. She has performed her poetry at Salt of the Earth Books in Albuquerque, University of Rochester, NY, and the University of New Mexico Gallup Branch. Rainy also had pieces featured in Vogue. She writes poetry inspired by her family. They have been published in major anthologies and can be found on the Academy of American Poets website, among other places.

Rainy Dawn was foremost a mother and grandmother. She was a warrior-mother. She gave birth to six children and mothered several other children. They are her most prized accomplishments. She has passed onto them an enduring love, with gifts of beauty, creativity, the ability to make something when there appears to be nothing, and the persistence to make it through, to survive with warm laughter and love.

Rainy Dawn is survived by her parents Simon J. Ortiz (Acoma Pueblo) and Joy Harjo-Sapulpa (Mvskoke Nation). By her children: Krista Rae, Desiray Kierra, Tayo Chayton, Chayson Rain, Shayla Jewel, Kaiya Feather, Natasha Arielle, and Tamarin. As well as her grandchildren, Sebastian Coen, Theodore Tramon, Nikolai M., Jordan S., Aalilyana D., and soon to be here Frederick A.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Rainy Ortiz, please visit our flower store.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2023

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Mountain time)

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