Laura Martinez, 93 years young, died Tuesday, July 25, 2023 at her lifelong home with her loving family at her side. Laura was born to Ruperta Quintana and Ramon Martinez and graduated from Espanola High School. Ramon died when she was 4 months old, his death influenced the rest of her life. She and her mother moved in with her grandmother, Mama´Quintana. As many family members lived next to each other, Laura became very close to her aunts, uncles and first cousins. Ruperta remarried and Laura gained a wonderful stepfather, Benito Lopez, who loved and treated her as his own daughter.
Family was of the utmost importance to her. A close second were her many friends, who sometimes became family. She never met a stranger and could strike up a conversation with anyone. She truly loved people and relished chatting with them. She regaled family and friends with stories of “the good old days” when it was safe to walk to dances in downtown Espanola and people “had good, clean fun”. She possessed an incredible memory. She was the unofficial family “genealogy expert” and we joked that she could quickly get family members to “six degrees of separation” with almost anyone in the valley.
Laura married Rubel Martinez in 1954. They enjoyed traveling, and visited Europe, Philippines and Central America to name a few. Laura will be remembered for being a fantastic mother and grandmother, her strong Catholic faith, and taking the time to enjoy delicious food. She always reminded us of her mother’s words, “We better enjoy eating while we can, because the day will come when we can no longer enjoy it”. She walked 3-4 miles daily for many years with different friends which provided not only good exercise but provided extra time visiting with those friends.
Laura was the ultimate people person, and spent her career in jobs which provided the opportunity to work directly with the public to include approximately 30 years at Valley National Bank.
Laura is survived by her children Belinda (Bob), Rubel Jr. and Joseph ‘Senchen’; grandchildren Ashleigh, her mother Vivian (Jim); Rubel III and Marissa (Brice), their mother Marcie (Blane); great-grandchildren Alexa and Aubree, and their mother Brittany, sister-in-law Adelina Quintana, and many friends and relatives. Laura is predeceased by her husband and grandson Lucas Martinez as well as many other relatives and in-laws.
A rosary will be recited on Monday, July 31, 2023, 10:15 a.m. at La Iglesia de Santa Cruz de la Canada (Holy Cross Church), followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. Burial services will take place at Santa Fe National Cemetery at 1:30 p.m.
Serving as pallbearers are her sons, grandson, Brice Humes, Tommy Maestas, and Erle Wright.
The family of Laura Martinez has entrusted the care of their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the beautiful Espanola Valley. www.devargasfuneral.com 505-747-7477