Dean Melvin Martinez (Larry Dean), age 65, a resident of La Mesilla, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, February 23, 2022. He was born in Fairview, New Mexico on February 15, 1957. He was one of eight children born into a large family and lived in the beautiful valley of Velarde, NM.
At the young age of 17 in 1974, he enlisted with the help of his mother’s signature to serve in the United States Navy. He returned back to New Mexico in 1977. He was a retired Chief Petty Officer for the United States Navy Seabees with 22 years and 6 months of dedicated and honorable service. He served in the following Operations: Vietnam Conflict, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and Nobel Eagle. He was awarded the following medals and ribbons: Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2 devices), Navy E Ribbon (1 device), Good Conduct Medal, Navy Reserve Meritorious Service Medal (4 devices), National Defense Service Medal (2 devices), Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Medal, Navy/Marine Corp Overseas Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (M device), Rifle Expert, and Pistol Expert.
Besides his extensive military background he also had 6 certificates and 3 Associates in multiple Applied Science disciplines from Northern New Mexico College. He also had his own general contractor company. He worked many years at the Los Alamos National Laboratory as a Construction Project Manager and Electrical Superintendent before retiring.
He was married to his loving wife Minnie of 41 years. Their first child named Lorenzo was born in May of 1988 followed by their daughter Lydia born in 1990 just one day before his birthday whom they named after his mother. Dean loved being outdoors and spent many hours gardening, irrigating fruit trees, hunting, fishing, working outside on many projects and spending time with his loving family and friends. He cherished all the moments he spent with his family and friends.
He is preceded in death by his father Martin Martinez Sr. and mother Lydia Martinez, brother Martin E. Martinez Jr., niece, Jillmarie, nephew, Dominic (Rocky). Dean is survived by his beloved wife, Minnie; son Lorenzo and daughter Lydia including her dogs Roscoe and Zarra, sisters; Alice Romero (Mike), Cora Roybal (Dennis), brothers; Merejildo Martinez (Cathy), Perfecto Martinez (Yvonne), Dennis Martinez (Evelyn), Tim Martinez (Danette), sister-in-law Patricia Martinez; uncles Pete Vigil, Sam Vigil, and Danny Vigil; father-in-law Ernesto Salazar Sr., mother-in-law Beva Salazar, brother-in-law Ernesto Salazar Jr. (Brenda), sister-in-law Rita Herrera, nieces; and nephews, Christopher, Donna, Mikell, Mikelynn, Margarita, Carlos, Lisa, god-daughter Erika, Meghan, James, Daniel, Aaron, and Gerald; and many other close nieces and nephews.
Rosary will be held on Friday, March 4, 2022 at 10:15am followed by a Mass at 11:00am at Holy Cross Church in Santa Cruz. Burial will be held at the Santa Fe National Cemetery on March 23, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.
Serving the family as pallbearers will be Lorenzo Martinez, Christopher Martinez, Carlos Martinez, Merijildo Martinez, Tim Martinez, Rich Kilburg; Honorary pallbearers will be Perfecto Martinez, Dennis Martinez, Cora Roybal, Alice Romero, Orly Archuleta, Ray Archuleta, Paul Gurule, Danny Martinez, David (Bear) Martinez, Harold Martinez, Andrew Sanchez, Archie Valdez, Sotero Valdez, Davy Villareal, Andrew Vigil, and Tim Vigil. The family would like to thank everyone for their love and support during this difficult time. The family of Dean Martinez has entrusted the care of their loved one to the DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Espanola Valley. 505-747-7477