John Cortes, 1932 – 2008

Longtime Moab resident, John Cortes, passed away Nov. 8, 2008 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, Colo.

John was born Oct. 26, 1932 in Highland Boy, Utah to John Cortes and Mary Ellen Arambarri. His mother later divorced his father and married Ben F. Smith who was a great father figure and example in his life.

He grew up in Ogden, Utah, where, as a boy, his activities included boxing, basketball, and football. He earned extra money by pitch-forking carp in one of the canals by Ogden and then selling them. He was known for his generosity. For example, when his sister, Delores, wanted something, he ensured she received it.

John served in the Army from 1954 to 1956, as a driver for the colonel of the base in Greenland during the Korean War. When he got out of the Army, his parents had moved to Moab to build the Parkside Trailer Court. John came to visit them and never left.

In Moab, John met a beautiful young woman who was the love of his life. He married Phyllis Mae Stocks on Aug. 8, 1958. John and Phyllis began their journey together in a home on Murphy Lane. John showed his craftsmanship by creating additions to grow with their increasing family where they raised their three children, Crystal, John Alan, and Dolores. To this day, John and Phyllis’ grandchildren enjoy the cozy space John created.

John worked and retired from the Grand County Road Department. He was proficient as a road grader operator and felt fortunate for the job, which provided his family a comfortable life.

Throughout the years in Moab, John continued his love of sports, adding bowling and golf to his numerous sport abilities. He coached and was a referee of little league football for many years. He helped build the Moab Golf Course and the current football field.

John was a very devoted husband and missed his deceased wife for the past 20 years. As a loving father and grandfather he was a strong advocate for his family, always placing his children first, giving them support spiritually, emotionally, and physically. He enjoyed his grandchildren, attending as many of their activities as possible.

John cultivated solid life values for his family through his high level of integrity, honesty, and notable standards. His family would joke about him telling the same stories throughout the years and they would never change. His family admired his ability to tell these stories without embellishment. John was a great example to his family and they felt very fortunate to have had him in their lives.

He is survived by his daughter, Crystal, and husband Randy Day, of Moab; son, John A. Cortes, of Moab; daughter, Dolores, and husband Richard Droesbeke, of Logan; his brother, Ben, and wife Paula Smith, of Moab; grandchildren, Jeremy (Nicole) Day, Tyson Day, Kira (Brad) Knight, Kellen Day, Derek Droesbeke, Brooke Droesbeke, Caleb Droesbeke; great-granddaughter, Alexis Nicole Day; brother-in-law, Jerry (Marie) Stocks; sister-in-law, Lynda (Chas) Stocks, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Phyllis Stocks Cortes; his parents, John Cortes, Mary and Ben Smith; brother, Louie Cortes; sister and brother-in-law, Delores and Fred Hamel; infant brother, Manuel Cortes; mother- and father-in-law, Pete and Verona Stocks; brothers-in-law, Joe Stocks and Robert Muir, and sister-in-law Verona Muir.

A viewing will be held Thursday, Nov. 13, from 6-8 pm at the Kimmerle Funeral Home. Memorial services will be held Friday, Nov. 14 at 11 a.m. at the LDS Stake Center on Locust Lane, with a viewing prior to the services. Internment will be at the Grand Valley Cemetery.