Jose R. Martinez, Jr.
passed away on September 16, 2021, after a courageous two-year fight against cancer at the age of 72. Joe was born on April 12, 1949, to Jose R. Martinez Sr. and Rosa Inez Ortiz in Espanola, New Mexico. Joe was a quiet man of few words, but with a kind heart full of love.
Joe is preceded in death by his parents Jose and Rosa Inez, grandmother; Barbarita Martinez, nephew and godson Michael Wray, Aunt Chencha, close family friend Senaida Johnson, and Julian Johnson whom he grew up with as brothers.
Joe grew up in Alcalde, NM where his grandmother Barbarita Martinez and Aunt Maria Crecencia (Chencha) Martinez helped raise he and his siblings Albert, Leo and Rosemary. While growing up in Alcalde, Joe was known to his many friends as “Coco” or “Flex”. He was a Class of 1967 Graduate of McCurdy High School in Santa Cruz, NM. Joe’s lifelong passion for learning also led him to graduate with an Associate Degree in Industrial Design and Drafting from Northern New Mexico College at the age of 65.
Joe had several hobbies and interests throughout his life. Most notably was an athlete, outdoorsman, self-taught amateur artist, amateur historian, performer in Los Comanches de Alcalde, and performer in Los Matachines de Alcalde. But nothing brought more joy to his life than casting a line into a river or lake and enjoying a day of fishing with his family or friends and listening to the wonderful music from Northern New Mexico.
He began his career as a surveyor and spent several years working with and becoming close friends with John Montoya of John Montoya Land Surveying in Espanola. He also worked as a surveyor at Los Alamos National Laboratory and spent several years living and working in Ogden, Utah and Salinas, California where he was blessed to form close and lifelong relationships with many nieces, nephews, and extended family. In retirement, Joe moved back to his beloved Espanola Valley and spent his remaining years with his children, grandchildren, and close friends.
Although his career allowed him to live and work in many parts of the country, Northern New Mexico always had a special place in his heart. Joe loved the music, food, diversity, culture, and traditions of Northern New Mexico. As mayordomo of Los Matachines de Alcalde, Joe along with some community members, worked with acclaimed Author and Photographer Douglas Kent Hall to help bring notoriety to the beauty, history and traditions of Los Matachines de Alcalde. That work was eventually documented in Mr. Hall’s book titled “New Mexico: Voices in an Ancient Landscape”.
Joe is survived by his son Joe Martinez, daughter-in-law Kris Martinez, daughter and caretaker Juliette Martinez; grandchildren Megan, Ethan, and his pollíta Angelica whom he adored with all his heart; sisters Rosemary Payton, Dolores Franco; Sally Kaelin (Bob), and Gloria Quintana, brothers Albert Martinez (Lois), Leo Martinez (Alice), & Sam Lucero (Laurie); Anita Johnson Martinez (Marcos), hijadas Lea Sanchez and Tania Montoya; mother of his children Judy Martinez (Michael), and many nieces and nephews. Joe is also survived by Compadres Tomas & Liz Sanchez; their daughters and grandchildren whom he loved dearly.
Public viewing for Joe R Martinez will be held at 5:00pm on Thursday, September 23, 2021, at Devargas Funeral Home. Rosary will be held on Friday, September 24, 2021, at 2:00pm at St. Annes Church in Alcalde, NM followed by a funeral mass at 3:00pm.
Private Burial will be held at a later date.
The family of Joe Martinez kindly ask guests to wear masks and always follow COVID safe practices for Public Viewing and Rosary/Funeral Services
The family of Jose Martinez has entrusted the care of their loved one to the DeVargas Funeral Home and Crematory of the Espanola Valley. www.devargasfuneral.com 505-747-7477