Cover photo for Joseph Michael Martinez's Obituary

Joseph Michael Martinez

d. May 1, 2024


It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Joseph "Joey" Martinez, a beloved father, devoted husband, and cherished friend from Espanola. Joey peacefully departed from this world on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, at the tender age of 42.  He died peacefully and in the comforting embrace of his loving family at home.

Born in Denver, Colorado on August 31, 1981, Joey lived life to the fullest. He cherished spending time with loved ones, whether it was camping trips, family gatherings, fishing at Abiquiu Lake, or simply enjoying their company and creating lasting memories. With his playful spirit and infectious humor, Joey had a knack for lighting up any room and bringing smiles to those around him.

Joseph's greatest pride was his family. He adored his children, Johnny, Miguel, and Nya, and embraced their friends as his "extra" kids.  For 25 years, he found solace and strength in his beloved wife, Desiree, their bond serving as the bedrock of mutual support and companionship. His family will always remember him as their protector, their rock. 

In his early years, at the age of 18, Joseph learned the craft of carpentry.  He was hardworking and a dedicated man who found great pride in his work, building and working on houses within his hometown community where he grew up.  Joey was a pillar and proudly proud of being part of the Espanola lowrider community. He poured his passion into his classic cars, a 1978 Thunderbird and a 1985 Chevy Truck, and reveled in car shows and Sunday cruises.  

He is now embraced in Heaven, welcomed by his uncles Chris and Johnny Martinez, his grandfather Leroy Martinez, his cousin Vicky Lehmkuhl, and his beloved family pets Teddy and Tootsie.

He is survived by his devoted wife, Desiree, his sons Johnny & Miguel Martinez, daughter Nya Martinez, parents Joseph and Candy Martinez, grandmother Ida Vigil, grandparents Michael and Joan Day, siblings Manuel, Mitchell, Nathan, and Crystal Martinez, along with their spouses, and several nieces and nephews who idolized him. He also leaves behind beloved uncles, aunts, cousins, numerous friends, and his loyal dogs, Bailey and Motley, who held a special place in his heart.  

Joey's passing is a profound loss for all whose lives he graced and hearts he touched.  His absence leaves a profound emptiness, but his memory will forever be cherished by all who knew him.

A Rosary will take place on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, at 6:00 pm at DeVargas Funeral Home in Espanola, NM, and a Mass will be held on Wednesday May 15, 2024, at 11:00 am at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Santa Cruz, NM.

Serving as pallbearers: Alvaro Romero, Keith Romero, Derrik Overson, Miguel Martinez, Johnny Martinez, Vinny Martinez 

Honorary pallbearers: Manuel Martinez, Mitchell Martinez, Nathan Martinez, Crystal Martinez 


A special thanks to Fredrica and Manuel and the Pueblo of Pojoaque for their donations, Salas Autobody for donations, Hotel Santa Fe for their donations and Presbyterian Hospice and staff for their care and support. 

The family of Joseph Martinez has entrusted the care of their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the beautiful Espanola Valley.   505-747-7477


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph Michael Martinez, please visit our flower store.


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