Willis ‘Marty’ Martinez

August 25, 2009

By Contributor

Willis Martinez

Willis Martinez

Marty Martinez, of Issaquah, died Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009. He was 81.Funeral service was Aug. 25. Interment was at Upper Hillside Cemetery, Issaquah.

He was born to Gabriel and Odessa Martinez in Springer, N.M., on May 31, 1928. He was raised in Pasadena, Calif., attended Pilgrim Bible School, Pasadena Academy and Pasadena Nazarene College. In college, he worked for Market Basket Grocers Inc., and continued his career there until joining the Kroger Co.

He retired from Kroger in 1973 as produce merchandiser for the Midwest Division. Returning to the West Coast, he managed the Oregon Washington California Pear Bureau in Portland. In 1975, he moved to Medford as sales manager of Oregon Pear Sales Inc. He retired from Associated Fruit Co. in 2006.

In 1979, he was appointed to serve on the Oregon State Agriculture Board. An avid golfer, he was past president of the Rogue Valley Country Club and sponsored junior golf. He was loved and respected by friends and family.

When he was younger, he played football, baseball, basketball and enjoyed bowling on company leagues. If a competitive sport was being played, Marty was playing. He always said, “Nobody remembers who came in second.” He always strived to be the best at whatever he did, and succeeded. He also volunteered in the Los Angeles County Youth Sports Program.

Marty was preceded in death by his parents, brother Victor, sister Pauline, infant son Danny, his special friend David Matson and beloved son-in-law Jim Evans. He is survived by his loving wife of 26 years, Marilyn (Gilman) Martinez; four daughters, Lisa Heenan, Diana Evans, Judy (George) Ezquerro, and Tami Martinez; and two sons, Randy (Linda) Martinez and Scott (Tammy) Martinez. He will also be missed by 14 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; four brothers, Jerry (Carolyn), Gabe (Vi), Preston (Verna), Edward (June); and sister Evelyn Hemann.

The family requests donations in Marty’s memory to Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, 12721 30th Ave. N.E., Suite 101, Seattle, WA 98125, 800-848-7097, ext. 228.

Arrangements were by Flintoft’s Funeral Home. Friends are invited to share memories and sign the family’s online guest book at www.flintofts.com.

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