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Joe Edward MartinezApril 13, 1928 ~ January 13, 2018 (age 89)
Joe Edward Martinez, 89, left this life on January 13, 2018, at his home in Oakland, California. He was born in Mora County, New Mexico, USA in an adobe cabin on the family ranch. He worked hard from a young age to help support his family and moved with them to the Northern California lumber town of Westwood. After serving in the US Air Force, he attended UC Berkeley where he was an active member of the professional foreign service fraternity, Delta Phi Epsilon, and graduated with a BA in International Relations.
He was a scholar, soldier, and devoted family man who was married for 62 years to Rebecca Resendez of San Antonio, Texas. He believed in the highest ideals of service to family and community and “walked the walk” every day of his life. While raising a family in Sacramento, he served the drivers of California through his career at the Department of Motor Vehicles where he was a leader of the team that created the Spanish-language California Driver Handbook and worked on the production of Driver Handbooks in many other languages. He served his country as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force Reserve, and traveled the world to wherever his skills and knowledge were needed. As an Eagle Scout and lifelong Scouter, he happily devoted many hours of his spare time to serve and support the Scouts of Sacramento’s Troop 1.
His hard work and passion for learning inspired many of the people he knew. He was a strong, supportive, loving father and an advocate for opportunity for all. Predeceased by his beloved Rebecca, Joe is survived by his daughter Iris Martinez Kane and her husband Jack; his sons Joel Martinez, and Christopher Martinez and his wife Anne; as well as his granddaughters Mariana Zelia Martinez and Aurora Jade Kane; and many extended family members in New Mexico and Texas.
The lively discussions we had and his warmth, humor, and depth of knowledge will inspire his family forever. We love you Dad, and your spirit will live on in our thoughts and in the memories of all the people whose lives you touched though your service.
Joe will be laid to rest with military honors in the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in a family ceremony. A celebration of his life will be held on Sunday, January 28th, from 2-4 PM at The Point at Rockridge, 4500 Gilbert St, Oakland, CA, 94611. Memorial donations may be directed to the Sonoma Developmental Center Parent Hospital Association, P.O. Box 237, Eldridge, CA 95431. Written condolences may be directed to Joe E. Martinez Family, 4500 Gilbert St, #105, Oakland, CA, 94611.
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