John Roberto Martinez, 89, of Salida passed away May 19 at the Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center. His death was unrelated to COVID-19.
He was born January 22, 1931, to Juan B. and Modesta G. Martinez in the family home at 326 Palmer St.
He attended McCray School, St. Joseph Catholic School and graduated from Salida High School in 1950. He helped on the ranch of John Boyle, local attorney, in his youth and thought highly of him and his family.
In 1951, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps, and was stationed at Camp Pendleton, before being deployed to Korea in 1952. He served in the Korean Conflict until 1954, attaining the rank of sergeant. He was discharged in 1954 at Twentynine Palms, California.
Upon returning home, he worked for his father transferring coal from standard gauge coal cars to narrow gauge cars heading to the Monarch Quarry on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. He assisted his father in dumping ash and coal cans around the area.
In 1959, John and his father formed the Martinez Trash Company which operated within Salida for nearly three decades.
In 1958, John married Lois R. Madison at St. Joseph Catholic Church. They moved into the family home where they raised their four children. Together the couple owned and operated the Martinez Trash Company until they sold the company to Waste Management in 1996.
John joined Robert F. Harrison Land Surveying in 1960, aiding in the surveying of the Monarch Ski Area and the natural gas line from Del Norte to Dylan, while continuing to work for his father with the trash company.
John enjoyed hunting, fishing, making tortillas, being in the outdoors, working on vehicles, searching for pennies, completing word searches and hunting for arrowheads.
He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, the American Legion, the Salida Masonic Lodge, Al Kaly Shrine Club, Southern Colorado Consistory, Order of the Eastern Star and the Salida Elks Lodge holding various offices across the different organizations.
John was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Predicanda “Predy” Medrano, Leona Torrano, Dorothy Vigil; brothers Epimenio “Pimie” Martinez, Alfred Martinez, Isabro “Chuck” Martinez. Survivors include his wife and children, Valarie (Walt Barczak) Martinez of Denver, Curtiss Martinez of Denver, Scott (Cindy) Martinez and Adrienne (Jim) Weber of Salida; sister Eldora Scheick of Whittier, California; grandchildren Jaclyn Lopez and Lauren (Jesse) Martinez, Avery Martinez, Madison (Justin Martinez) Everett, McKenzie Everett and Modesta Everett; great-grandchildren Alex Lopez, Allen Ortega, Lilly Ortega, Ruby Barton and Rue Hawk; step-grandchildren Kealy (Vance) Hawk and Tessa Weber; Lane (John) Poyser, his favorite niece; brother-in-law Rudy Vigil of Salida; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Due to coronavirus restrictions a mass and rosary will be announced at a future date due to the coronavirus pandemic. A private family event will be held on May 23.
Online condolences can be offered at lewisandglenn.com. Monetary contributions can be made to the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Salida. Arrangements are with Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home.
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