“Abimael was a ray of sunshine that made people happy wherever he went with his unmatched charisma,” Gloria Gutierrez, Ortiz’s pastor at Iglesia Bethesda and creator of the GoFundMe, wrote on the fundraising page.
“He was an active member of the church, and there wasn’t a single person he wasn’t friends with. He often stayed after church services; he never wanted to leave. He was everybody’s friend,” Gutierrez told Channel 2.
Ortiz’s younger sister, Marlene Vargas, remembered him as a caring brother, supportive father and doting husband. The second-youngest of four siblings, she said family members called him “bebito.”
“His siblings will always remember him for his great smile and his jokes,” Vargas said. “I want everyone to remember him as he was — loving, genuine and always with a bright smile.”
Created Saturday, the page had raised a little more than $2,500 as of Monday afternoon.