July 4, 1936 – Feb. 24, 2019
Lovell area native Ramon Francisco Martinez died in Modesto, Calif., Feb. 24, 2019. He was the oldest son, and second child, born to Ramon Francisco (Frank) Martinez and Juana Velasquez Martinez in Kane on July 4, 1936, at home. He had a real nice looking ’48 blue Chevy and he liked cars.
In high school, he worked at the Lovell Laundry and the Ford garage. His patriotic spirit did not stop with his birth. At age 17, Ramon, Marty as most called him, joined the United States Air Force. He served overseas in the Korean War. He also served in the Philippines, Guam, England and Japan during the Vietnam War. He retired in 1971 from Castle Air Force Base in Atwater, Calif.
Ray rose to the rank of staff sergeant in his 21 years of service and was a member of the Air Force Sergeants Association. He belonged to the American Military Society, the American Legion and the Elks. During his years of service, he earned several medals and honors. He was a member of E Clamps Vitas for 45 years. This was a community organization that restored historical monuments along the highways.
He was a trouble shooter on jet engines. Following his career in the service, he became a diesel mechanic for many years. His brothers recall that he always loved working on and tinkering on cars.
While stationed in Idaho, he met Shirley Weaver. To this union, three children were born: Kathy, Ramon Francisco Martinez Jr. and John James Martinez. They later divorced, and years later he met and married Dorothy. They continued to make their home in Ceres, Calif., where Marty had retired from the service. He worked at Dow Hammond International Truck as a diesel mechanic, and this is where he met Dorothy.
For many summers, he enjoyed making the long road trip back out to Wyoming, and his niece and nephew fondly remember lighting off fireworks and teasing “Uncle Ray” that the whole nation was celebrating his birthday. Ray was a quiet man who chose to keep to himself. He liked to tease and joke and was a bit of a smarty. He took care of Dorothy, even carrying her purse down the street for her.
Ramon was preceded in death by both parents, Ramon Francisco Martinez and Juana Velasquez Martinez; sisters Eva Martinez and Rita Martinez Cobos; brothers Johnny Martinez, Arthur Martinez, Manuel Martinez and Francisco (Pete) Martinez; brother-in-law Ben Cobos; and sisters-in-law Virginia and Juanita Martinez.
He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Dorothy Martinez, brothers Rudy Martinez and Jesse Martinez and sister Rose (Jerry) Cantrall. He is also survived by his kids, Kathy Wright of Turlock, Calif., Ramon Francisco (Joyce) Martinez Jr. of Hilmar, Calif., and John James Martinez of Modesto, Calif.; and stepchildren Terry Meads of Modesto, Gerry Sartin of Ceres, Sandy (Erwin) Bucher of Ripon and Mike (Margie) Sartin of Modesto.
His grandchildren include Jenna Wright and Jeremy Wright, Megan (Joshua) Gilmet, Lindsey Martinez, Justhine Cono, Ashley Victoria (Trent) Milsap, Dylan James (Dominique) Martinez, several step-grandchildren and six great-grandkids. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
A rosary will be said Friday, March 8, at 7 p.m. at Haskell Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian burial will follow on Saturday, March 9, at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Internment will be at the Lovell Cemetery with military honors. Haskell’s will be in charge of arrangements.