Lela Martinez was born on December 22, 1925, in Chamisal, New Mexico to Lino and Juanita Lopez. She had six brothers and one sister. Lela told stories of her early childhood, having to feed the cows, chickens, and goats before and after school – and, walking to school in the snow from Chamisal all the way to Penasco (uphill both ways). 😊
At the age of 16 she moved to Utah with one of her older brothers, where she helped care for her nieces and nephews. As fate would have it, she moved back to Chamisal when she was 21. There on a warm Sunday afternoon, she met the love of her life, Enrique Martinez. They were married in 1946 and had three children: Margie (Marcelino), Henry (Pauline), and Jeanell (J.R.). The family expanded to Grandchildren: Cristy (Danny), Jessica (Jeff), Marshall (Anika), Paul (Lynn), Lenny, Andrew, and Great-Grandchildren: Amanda, Athena, Enrique, and Great-Great Grandchildren: Eden and Aiden.
Over the years, Lela sustained the losses of her parents, her siblings, and her loving husband. She suffered through having broken both legs, having C-Diff, pneumonia, and the flu. On the verge of death many times, with God’s healing hand Lela bounced back each time, with continued loved for her Lord, her family, and for her Church and Church-family.
Lela read her Bible every night. When her vision made that difficult, the family bought her several Bible-speaking apps and gadgets. Not that she needed the gadgets though, because she memorized and recited many verses, including Psalm 23, Psalm 102, and Psalm 121. Each child she cared for was required to learn Psalm 23, both in Spanish and English.
Lela was a blessing to everyone around her. She gave and served, putting God first in everything, and the needs of others before her own. She led a true Christ-like life. Family and friends would often ask that their prayers and needs be added to Lela’s prayer list.
For the week before her death, her family stayed by her side 24/7 reading the Bible to her, praying, and singing her favorite hymns. Lela fell asleep here on earth and awoke into the Glory of God on Good Friday, April 7, 2023. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her.
One of her favorite Bible verses was a blessing that she bestowed upon others. Her family now bestows this blessing on everyone reading: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)
A Devotional Service will be held on Monday, April 17, 2023, at 6:30 pm at The Lighthouse in Chimayo. A Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, at 9:30 am at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.
Serving as Pallbearers: Marshall, Paul, Lenny, Andrew, Danny, and Jeff.
Honorary Pallbearers: Amanda, Athena, Enrique, Eden, Aiden, and Cousin Josh.
Lela’s family would like to thank everyone for their kindness and prayers, and for the love shown to her throughout the years. Special thanks to Juana, who cared for her for 12 years as though she were her own mother. We also convey our heartfelt thanks to her other wonderful caregivers: Connie, Laura, Audrey, Olivia, and Lupe.
The family of Lela Martinez has entrusted the care of their loved to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of Espanola, New Mexico. www.devargasfh.com. 505-747-7477.