top of page

Old Town
National City Foundation

OTNC-F no background Brighter 11-28-23 (1).png

MANUEL PORTILLO Born on August 22, 1920, in National City, CA, he passed away peacefully in his sleep at home surrounded by family on March 2, 2008. He was 87 years old. Manuel was the oldest of 16 children. His dad, Delfino, passed away at the young age of 44. Manuel and his mother, Juana, raised his brothers and sisters. His mother passed away at the age of 79. He is predeceased in death by his son Richard. Manuel started working at the age of 12 and had to quit junior high school to earn money to support his family. He had many jobs before he joined the Army. He was sent overseas in World War II and fought in many battles. He was honorably discharged as a Sergeant and received four Bronze Service Stars. In the Army he won 39 straight boxing matches. As a youth he learned to box and boxed for clubs such as the San Diego Boxing Club and the Kiwanis Club. After the Army, he received a fulltime job during the day as a butcher for Wright's Meat Packing and a part-time night job as a recreation aid at the Casa De Salud in Old Town National City and recreation centers throughout the City of National City. Manuel was always dedicated to the youth in National City. He taught young adults how to play basketball, baseball and managed many girls softball teams. The Navy built a boxing ring at the Casa De Salud and he taught neighborhood youth how to box. Through his guidance many neighborhood kids changed their lives and self image. Manuel (Tala) Portillo was recognized by the Mayor and City Council of National City for his devoted service to youth and proclaimed December 20, 2005, "Manuel Portillo Day." On the same date they proclaimed Manuel Portillo Day, the City of National City renamed the Casa De Salud Community Center and dedicated the Center in his name. The center is now known as The Manuel Portillo Community Center. In 1948, he co-founded the Casa Men's Club and is now an honorary member. He also started a Casa Knights, Santos and Peewees for boys and the Knightetts for girls. He sponsored many dances for neighborhood kids at the Casa de Salud. He is respected by all the people he guided and some are now successful in our community. Manuel was an outstanding athlete. In the Army he won 39 straight boxing matches. After the Army he boxed professionally. A softball team representing the best softball players in San Diego County was formed to participate in the Softball World Series in Long Beach, California. Manuel and his brother, Margarito, were both chosen to be on the team. He was an avid golfer and played baseball in many organized leagues. He was inducted into the Hall of Champions at Balboa Park. He was a very special person and admired by everyone that knew him. After he retired from the National City School District he enjoyed spending time with his family especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was the Monarch of the Portillo Family who will be missed by everyone who knew him. He also loved to go to the Casinos and enjoyed his day gambling. He was a member of the Eagles, American Legion Post 255 and is a lifelong member of the Don Diego VFW. Before he became ill he would love to visit his friends at the Elbo Rest. Survivors include his loving wife of 65 years Gloria Contreras Portillo, daughter Lorraine Ensign (Richard), son David (Gerry), grandchildren: Kara, Richard, Santiago, Christina Portillo, Veronica and Raymond Burgos and five great-grand- children; brothers, Margarito, Abel, Patrick, and Gilbert; sisters, Susanna (deceased), Catalina, Annie, Mary, Irene, Ludy, Josephine, Alva, Clara, Chocolate and Merna. He is also survived by 72 nieces and nephews and many great-nieces and nephews.



Taking Your Business to
the Next Level



OTNC-F no background Brighter 11-28-23 (1).png


cacer walk vector png.png

June 1st | 2024 Pepper Park

3299 Tidelands Ave.

National City Cancer Walk June !st

OTNC Host the First Annual Walk
to help fight cancer. Pepper Park
3299 Tidelands Ave. National City

6th Grade Graduation April

Kimball Elementary Celebrates
with OTNC


Our Volunteers Are the Finest


The west side of National City is affectional know by the resident who lived their as Old Town National City (OTNC).  In the earlier 1900's OTNC was predominately where the Mexican American community resided.  The Casa de Salud located at 14th and Harding Avenue in OTNC was the hub center for all activities in the community.   A group of local residents from OTNC formed the Casa Men's Club.  The group was formed to promote and provide services and events  to enhance the community.   Some of the events they held were community picnics, sports events, health fairs and Christmas giveaways to the children.  All the meetings for the Casa Men's Club were held at the Casa De Salud. 

The Casa Men's Club formed the foundation of what would later become the Old Town National City (OTNC) Foundation.  The children and families of the original founders of the Casa Men's Club became the basis of the membership of the OTNC Foundation of today. The OTNC Foundation is following in the footsteps of the traditions established by the Casa Men's Club in giving back to the OTNC community.  The OTNC Foundations have sponsored OTNC reunions, Thanksgiving basket give aways to deserving families, graduations gifts to Kimball Elementary school 6th grade students.  



Robert (Dukie) Valderrama

Eddie Perez
Vice President

Ray Juarez

Gloria Nieto



Screen Shot 2023-11-21 at 2.59.42 PM.png


Let’s Work Together

National City OTNC Foundation
1134 Olive Street
National City, Ca. 91950

Tel: 619-952-1990


Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page