Raul "Paul" Ortega Tarango, 77, of Grand Junction, passed away March 26, 2006, at Mantey Heights Rehabilitation Center with his family by his side.
He was born March 23, 1929, in Douglas, Ariz., to Cosmo and Maria Tarango. When he was 11 years old, he was left on a ranch in Candelaria, Texas, where he worked to make his own way. His life truly began when he met the love of his life, Dorothy Gallegos, and they became an instant family. Together they raised six children, Debra, David, Lisa, Karl, Paul and Ralph. He was a wonderful father, grandfather and friend.
Paul worked in many fields. He was never too proud to do what it took to support his family. In the early '70s, he became a cement mason and helped build the Eisenhower Tunnel. He then moved his family to Hayden to work on the Hayden Station power plant. He moved to Craig to work on the power plant, where he remained until 1987, when he returned to Grand Junction.
He never met a stranger and never knew an enemy. Everyone he met instantly loved him. He had that special charm. When you heard "Hey baby" you knew that Paul was in the area and you would get a warm greeting. He loved spending time with his friends and family. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and gambling, and was a great cook. He will be greatly missed.
Paul is survived by the mother of his children, Dorothy Byrd; two daughters, Debra Smith and her husband Daniel of Arkansas, and Lisa Vigil and her husband Gary of Grand Junction; four sons, David Burnell of Nebraska, Karl Tarango and his wife Tina of Loveland, Paul Tarango and his wife Kim of Ohio, and Ralph Tarango and his wife Deena of Wyoming; 14 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his grandson, Eugene Gary Vigil.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 30, 2006, at Bethel Assembly of God at 2945 Orchard Ave., Grand Junction.
Arrangements are under the direction of Callahan-Edfast Mortuary.