Obituary: Paul J. Martinez – Mar. 28, 1941- Mar. 15, 2021

It is with heartfelt sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of Paul J. (P.J.) Martinez. He was called home by our Lord Jesus Christ on the morning of March 15, 2021 at the age of 79, 13 days before his 80th birthday. Paul was born March 28, 1941. He was raised in Abiquiu, attended school in El Rito, and graduated from Los Alamos High School.

Paul was preceded in death by his wife, Alice, adopted parents, Juan B. and Aleja Martinez, his step-brother, Johnnie B. Martinez, step-sister Tita Trujillo, nephew, Patricio Trujillo, in-laws, Augustin and Dorotea Garcia.

He leaves behind his beloved partner and companion of 22 years, Julie Ortiz, as well as his best friend, who was like a son, Jimmy (Loretta) Leal as well as Fred (Amelia) Martinez, his very close childhood buddy. Also included are his nephews Mick and Gino Trujillo, Benjie Valdez, and goddaughter, Yolanda (Eddie) Serna, who he helped raise. He also leaves behind many nieces and nephews. We can’t forget his furry friends “Chico” and “Martina”, his Shih Tzu Terrior.

Paul is a retired fireman from Los Alamos County, and also worked with Protection Technology Los Alamos (PTLA), and Bechtel of Nevada. He was a member of the American Legion of Northern New Mexico Vietnam Veterans Chapter. He was a kind, generous, peace-loving person. He also volunteered at the Espanola Soup Kitchen. He enjoyed the Senior Bowling League, and was a dedicated Catholic. He enjoyed singing in the choir at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, in Santa Fe. Paul served his country as a proud Marine with DELTA Co. 3rd. Recon, receiving numerous medals. In his younger years he did the rodeo circuit, roping and riding bulls into his early sixties.

Pallbearers are Lupe Gallegos, Tanner Trujillo, Patrick Trujillo, James Esparza, Perla Davis, and Benjie Valdez.

Honorary Pallbearers will be the Los Alamos Fire Department crew.  

The Rosary will be held Monday March 22, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. at Rivera Funeral Home in Espanola (305 Calle Salazar). Mass of Christian Burial is planned for Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, in Santa Fe. (417 Agua Fria St.). Burial will take place March 31, 2021, at the National Cemetery at 2:15 p.m.

Donations may be made in his name to the Carmelite Monastery or your favorite charity.

The family has entrusted the care of Mr. Martinez to Rivera Family Funeral Home in Espanola. Please visit www.riverafamilyfuneralhome to leave stories, pictures, and condolences.

Paul J. Martinez was hired by the Department of Energy on July 11, 1982, as a firefighter and transferred to the Los Alamos County Fire Department on September 9, 1989. He retired from LAFD on November 30, 1998. Photo Courtesy LAFD