Olivia Martinez, a resident of Española, was called home peacefully with her family by her side on January 17, 2022, two days shy of her 76th birthday, after a very short battle with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Olivia was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Maximiño and Rosanna Manzanares; paternal grandparents, Maximiño and Rosita Vigil; and her parents, Cipriano and Beatrice Vigil.
Olivia was born on January 19, 1946, the daughter and second child of Cipriano Vigil and Beatrice Manzanares. She grew up in Española but enjoyed spending time and helping work at her father’s and mother’s family ranches in El Rito and Abiquiu. She graduated from Española High School in 1964. She met her husband Elias on a blind date as a senior in high school. The two married in 1966, and began their life together in Baltimore, MD, where Elias was employed by Westinghouse Corp. After a few years there, they spent a short while in Las Cruces, and moved back to Espanola in 1973. She retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory after a rewarding career in community outreach. She devoted herself to civic duty and was an active member of several Española Valley community development organizations, including the Greater Española Valley Community Development Corporation and Española Mainstreet. One of her favorite activities was helping organize the annual Española Light Parade.
We will remember Mom for her quiet smile, her devotion to her family, and her passion for the Espanola Valley. She was a devoted grandmother to her 4 grandchildren, making all the school plays, piano recitals, and McCurdy and St. Pius basketball, football, and volleyball games that she could. ‘Grandma O’ spent her retirement years taking her grandkids for haircuts, shopping for whatever they needed, and sneaking extra lunch to them at school whenever they asked. Mom shared many stories about her times in Abiquiu and El Rito that her grandchildren will always remember. She enjoyed traveling with Elias throughout their years together. The two shared many memorable trips to Europe and various cruise destinations. She often said a highlight of her travels was a trip she took to Peru with her close friend, Teresa. Our hearts are broken with our loss, and we will miss our wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and comadre dearly.
She is survived by her beloved husband of 56 years, Elias; son Chris Martinez and wife Lisa, daughter Lydia Torres and husband Manuel; brothers, LeRoy Vigil and wife Deborah, and Michael Vigil; sisters, Margaret Cata and Joann Salazar and husband Joe; her treasured grandchildren, Andres Martinez (who she called ‘the leader of the pack’), Jacob Martinez, Zachary Torres, and Eliana Torres; and numerous nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly.
A public visitation will begin at 6:00 p.m. on January 31, 2022 in the Sangre De Cristo Chapel of DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory and a wake will follow at 7:00 p.m. A rosary will be recited on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. at Santa Cruz de la Cañada Catholic Church, with a funeral mass to follow at 11:00 a.m. Burial will immediately follow at Holy Cross Cemetery. Due to Covid there will not be a condolence line at any of the services.
Serving as pallbearers are her grandsons, Andres and Jacob Martinez and Zachary Torres, her nephew, Justin Vigil, her cousin, Mariano Trujillo, and her godson, Eric Martinez. Serving as honorary pallbearers are Eliana Torres, Vicente Salazar, Damian Cata, Mercedes Bolt, and Carmen Anaya.
The family of Olivia Martinez has entrusted the care of their loved one to the DeVargas Funeral Home of the Espanola Valley