Services, fundraisers set for Ortiz family

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Thursday, December 5, 2013

SHARON—Talia Enciso, 18, was a naturally happy girl who liked to make others feel welcome.

Her father, Alvino Ortiz, 43, always had time to connect with others.

Last Saturday, Talia was driving her father and two of her three sisters when she failed to stop for a stop sign and their vehicle was hit by a truck driven by Timothy S. Votow, 42, Janesville. The truck was pulling a travel trailer.

Talia and Alvino were killed, along with Brittney Ortiz, 7.

Maria Ortiz, 14, remains hospitalized at American Family Children's Hospital in Madison.

Meanwhile, in Sharon, wife and mother Irma Ortiz and her daughter Jocelyn are faced with the overwhelming loss of their loved ones—and the expenses associated with a triple funeral.

In the days since the accident, community members and businesses have set up fundraisers to help the family. The outpouring has something to do with the nature of the loss—three members of one family gone at once—but it also has much to do with the character of the people who died.

 “Talia was an extraordinarily happy person,” said Candy Petersen, a family and consumer education teacher at Big Foot High School.

Talia was the regional representative for the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, a student organization.

“She was always ready to help other people,” Petersen said.

Talia was the student who always introduced herself to foreign exchange students and made them feel welcome.

“One of the exchange students was telling me the other day how kind she had been to him,” Petersen said. “She really had a radar out for people who needed help. Her parents had to have been so proud.”

Jessica Schnurr worked with Irma Ortiz at the Coffee Cup Café in Sharon.

Through Irma, Schnurr got to know the family. At a party several weeks ago, Brittney was “all smiles” and giggles, trying to capture people's attention by hitting them with balloons.

“When he would see my fiancé and I," Schnurr said of Alvino, "he would always go out of his way to say 'hi' to us.”

Irma was a dishwasher at the café, and she and Schnurr became friends.

Now Schnurr hopes to support Irma.

“It's a small little café,” Schnurr said. “We are trying to do what we can.”

Services for the family will be at 7:30 p.m. today at Toynton Funeral Home, 328 Kenosha St., Walworth. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. until time of services today at the funeral home.

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