Joseph Benjamin Martinez Sr.
6-3-1917 ~ 10-27-2011
Joseph ‘Ben’ Martinez Sr. died peacefully in his sleep, October 27, 2011 at the Colorado State Veterans’ Nursing Home in Walsenburg, CO. where he had lived for the past two and one half years. He was 94 years old.
Ben was born June 3, 1917 in Walsenburg to Olegario Martinez and Erminda Bustos Martinez. His older brother, Bonifacio Martinez and younger sister Mercedes ‘Mercy’ Martinez Lefler predeceased him.
He attended St. Mary’s school and enjoyed playing trombone in the school band and also walked to Huerfano High School daily to play in their band. He graduated in 1936.
As a young boy in the summer time, he herded sheep on horse-back for the Bustos family, assisted at times by his grandfather Abundo Bustos.
In 1937 he married Nancy E. Martinez, sister to Monica Bustos. They had three children, Ben Martinez Jr. of Walsenburg, Marcette ‘Marci’ Trimbell of Danville, CA and Chris Martinez of Santee, CA. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
In 1944 ‘Ben’ was drafted into the Army during WW II. He served in the Pacific Theater. He was in the infantry and then assigned to general headquarters in the Adjutant General’s office in radio and cable, which was Gen. McArthur’s headquarters. He was discharged in December 1945. He always felt it was a privilege to serve his country and to help win the war.
After the war he resumed working for the local Sporleder Selling Company and in 1947 was transferred to Alamosa, CO as a salesman covering the San Luis Valley. In April 1950 Ben and Nancy were divorced.
Wanting to be close to his children, Ben moved to San Diego, CA. He quickly found a job with Klauber Wanganheim, a wholesale distributor and worked for them nearly 30 years.
In San Diego on December 31, 1965 he married Jacqueline Murphree and later retired and moved to Idaho Falls, ID. They called this home for 17 years.
He found much enjoyment planning and creating a garden and extensive orchard in their back yard. His favorite pastime through the years was trout fishing and he taught his children and ‘grands’ how to catch the ‘big one’.
Ben was a man of deep faith, kind and honest and dearly loved his family and friends. We give thanks to God for his life!
Services will be held in California at a later date.
Local arrangements are under the direction of Boies-Ortega Funeral Home.