Major Christopher A. Cortez, USA, Ret., 65, slipped away June 26, 2017, surrounded by his family in Roswell, New Mexico.
Born in 1951 at Ft. Bragg to an infantryman, 2nd Lt. Cortez broke with tradition and joined the field artillery to destroy, defeat or disrupt the enemies of the United States. His service took him from the plains of Oklahoma, the city crowned by the Acropolis, the DMZ on the peninsula of Korea, the forests of Washington and finally to Dow Hall at the New Mexico Military Institute.
After retiring, Major Cortez stayed on at NMMI. He taught military history, often in the garb of a Union Army private, coached drama with a penchant for the Bard of Avon, and, most importantly, spent 23 years mentoring the young men and women of the Corps of Cadets.
He is proceeded in death by his father Major Alvino Cortez. He is survived by his wife of 44 years Kathy Cortez, sons Christopher R. Cortez and spouse Jessica Atkins, Ryan Cortez, granddaughter Sofia Cortez, daughter-in-law Kathryn Quiett, mother Ann Cortez, sisters Elizabeth Robles and Lena Cortez, and brother Steve Cortez.
To keep watch on future generations of cadets, the Major will be inurned at the NMMI Columbarium.
Half way down the trail to hell,
In a shady meadow green,
Are the souls of many departed Redlegs
Camped near a good old-time canteen.
And this eternal resting place
Is known as Fiddler's Green
Though other must go down the trail
To seek a warmer scene,
No Redleg ever goes to hell,
Ere he's emptied his canteen.
And so returns to drink again,
With friends at Fiddler's Green.
A Memorial Service will be held at Pearson Auditorium, NMMI at 13:00 (1:00 PM), Saturday August 19, 2017.