Antonio “Tocayo” Ricardo Martinez Jr. (aka “Tony”)

Antonio “Tocayo” Ricardo Martinez Jr. (aka “Tony”)

Antonio “Tocayo” Ricardo Martinez Jr. (aka “Tony”) of Los Luceros NM, went to be with our Lord on Saturday July 18th, 2020 surrounded by his family. Our dad, Antonio, was 98 years old when he passed. He was preceded in death by his wife, Fortunata (“Fortie”) Martinez; son, Joseph Anthony Martinez; parents, Antonio and Manuelita Martinez; sisters, Sophia Martinez (Max), Isabelle Guillen (Vicente), Maria Maes (Manuel), Odila Montoya (Benny), Teresita Salazar (Ruben); brothers, Elisaido Martinez (Ramona), Juan Esteban Martinez (Estella), Jose Ramon Martinez (Francis) and various nephews and nieces. He is survived by his daughters, Marion Martinez, Alexine Salazar, Pamela Martinez and Paula Sandoval (husband Armando); grandchildren, John David Salazar, Alex Antonio Salazar III, Antonio Marcos Sandoval and Marina Felice Sandoval; sister, Mercedes Martinez of Chamita; sister-in-law, Pearl Sanchez of Albuquerque and close family friends, Miquela Anaya and Katherine Brooks.  He also leaves numerous Godchildren as well as many beloved nephews and nieces. Our dad was born in San Juan Pueblo and in his youth, he helped his father, mother and siblings with the many livestock of sheep, cows, chickens and horses. They also grew and processed tobacco and sorghum (sugar cane) in their “jardín” along with staples of the valley such as various fruits, corn, squash, beans and chile. He was extremely proud of his heritage both as a farmer and as a musician which made up his family. After graduating as Valedictorian of Santa Cruz HS, he attended a local college and to make extra money, he worked at a dairy farm and also as a taxi driver in Santa Fe. He was most proud of his service during World War II.  At the age of 19, he decided to enlist in the Army. Once he completed basic training at Ft. Bliss, Texas, he toured several countries via the civilian-converted-to-troop shipping vessel, the “Il de France” which ultimately took him to his stationed post in Persia. Once promoted to U.S. Army Staff Sergeant, he was then given the opportunity to visit the Holy Land on three different occasions which was always the highlight of his service. Another valued contribution he made was when he, along with hundreds of other soldiers, was able to safeguard the strategic Tehran Conference attendees which included Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin from 28 November to 1 December 1943. During the course of his tour, he was awarded three metals, the European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and Good Conduct Medal. He was also gifted a Persian Rug embossed with “P.G.C. 1943-44” as a remembrance relic during this time. Upon returning to the US, he attended the University of NM. It was during this time that he met the love of his life, Fortunata (Fortie) Sanchez and after a time of courtship, they had a “Prendorio” and then married shortly after that.  He and our Mom were devoted to each other and to their family for nearly 69 years. While they lived in Velarde during the first part of their lives together, he bought land in Los Luceros and together with friends and relatives, built the family home which still is in Los Luceros. Our dad took great pride caring for his ranch. He owned livestock, was a farmer and always shared in his bountiful harvest with friends, neighbors and family. He was employed by the United States Postal Service for nearly 32 years and later became the Director of Los Cuidadanos Mayores del Condado de Rio Arriba. He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus for many years and was also an active participant in the Fiestas De Onate in the Espanola Valley. Our dad was best known for his musical abilities and this, he shared with his family. He was part of the tri-lingual choir (English, Spanish and Tewa) playing guitar, accordion, banjo and mandolin. He shared these gifts with his family and friends especially during Christmas, birthdays, family reunions and other special events. He would be called on to recite numerous rosaries for funerals and lead eulogies for loved ones and various members of the church. He was a Cursillista and participated in various ministries in the Catholic community. He would always say “If not us, then who?”For festivities such as weddings or other special events, he and our Mom were called on to also lead several marchas and entregas. Both he and our Mom were wonderful dancers and singers. He had a tenor voice and enjoyed singing and playing his instruments with his family; he taught all his children to play the guitar and they all learned to harmonize and play together in different musical genres.  In addition to playing many masses, he also played at other church events such as fiestas, matachina dances, sunrise services and campouts. His music resounded most at Christmas time when his accordion would play Vamos todos a Belen or Silent Night, both in English and in Spanish. During the latter part of his life, he also played at La Fonda as a guest musician with The Tangents. We are all deeply grateful for the long and beautiful life our Lord gave to our Dad, Antonio. The legacy he leaves behind is encased in his chartable spirit, his patient nature, his humility and sense of humor. We pray he will be remembered for all of this. There will be two viewings, both at DeVargas funeral home. The first was on Wednesday, August 12th at 6:00 p.m., followed by the reciting of the Holy Rosary. The second will be on Thursday, August 13th at 6:00 p.m., followed by the reciting of the Divine Mercy. A memorial mass will be celebrated on Friday, August 14th at 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Velarde. Interment will follow at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Cemetery in Velarde NM. The Holy Rosary, Divine Mercy and Mass/Burial will be available to hear on 88.1 FM within a mile radius from either event. Pallbearers are John David Salazar, Alex Antonio Salazar III, Charles Porter, Joseph Porter, Jon Carlo Martinez and Carlos Garcia. Honorary pallbearers are Antonio Marcos Sandoval and Marina Felice Sandoval. Our undying gratitude to his Goddaughter, Melissa Salazar-Porter and niece Lorena Salazar for the love and care they gave their uncle Tony time and again. Thank you to Tony and Cheryl Sanchez and Jerome Sanchez for always being available, day or night, to help the family. A special appreciation goes out to Irene Manzanares in the giving of her time and help during this difficult period. Thank you to Julian, Claudette and all of the Ambercare staff for helping us with Dad’s care during hospice. Our blessings are extended to Father Simeon Wimmershoff, Father Jose Herrera, Father John Kimani and David Salazar, LEM, for the ministry they provided to our father during his illness. Lastly, to all family and friends who prayed with us during Holy week on behalf of our Dad, we extend our unending gratitude. Due to the pandemic, in-person attendance is highly limited. Masks are also mandatory and must be worn at all times; the family respectively asks that this, along with proper distancing, be adhered to for the entire service. Since a hardcopy guestbook will not be available, we ask that any words of condolences be posted on his obituary page. These will later be presented to the family in hardcopy form. To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of our Dad, we ask that you please contact the DeVargas site. The family of Antonio “Tocayo” Ricardo Martinez Jr. (aka “Tony”) has entrusted the care of their loved one to the DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Española Valley. 505-747-7477 – www.devargasfuneral.com

(1) entry

Simmie Romero Boehm

Toni and Forti were my mother's , Eufelia Miera Romero, friends since they were married when she was their matron of honor. They always visited her in Lyden and she adored both of them coming over to visit with her. Often, they would sing to her!

They were the most adorable couple and loved my mother with all their heart; how she treasured Tony and Forti! Simmie Romero Boehm, simross33@icloud.com

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