Armando “Marty” N. Martinez, 78, of Leadville, passed away peacefully at his home in Leadville surrounded by his wife and children on Aug. 22. He was born September 6, 1941 in Taos, New Mexico to Benediano “Ben” and Adelia Martinez. He married Shirley Martinez on July 15, 1966 in Penasco, New Mexico.
After graduating high school, Martinez joined the United States Marine Corps and after his tour in southeast Asia, Martinez visited Leadville. He liked the mountains and outdoor recreation available in the area and chose to make Leadville his home. Martinez worked at the Climax Mine, and later at Vogelman Masonry.
After retirement, Martinez had more time for cutting, splitting and delivering wood to the community which was one of his favorite things to do. He offered his services at a low price and for the older and less fortunate people he would give wood away at no charge. His family loved being out there helping him split wood.
Martinez was incredibly involved in the Lake County community. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Martinez saw that there was a need to get some of the youth off the street. Knowing that many Leadville youth could not afford to go skiing, he used his passion for boxing to get a large number of individuals involved in a lower cost activity that would utilize their energy. It took over three years for Martinez to get local support needed to start a boxing club. Martinez’s dream came true in 1971, named in honor of the Marine Corps, the Leadville Leathernecks were established. The majority of the club’s initial equipment was supplied by and paid for out of Martinez’s own pocket. With his wife beside him doing avid fundraisers, the Leathernecks would later become one of the most financially stable teams in the region. Leatherneck bingo, concessions and annual raffle paid for the majority of the teams travel expense and equipment.
Martinez’s other passion was his family. After a long day of work he would go home and spend his evenings with his children and grandchildren. He always made sure he made time for family whether it was taking family trips to New Mexico, family picnics or taking all the little grandkids to the park.
Martinez was a member of the Annunciation Catholic Church/Holy Family Parish, the Leadville Moose Lodge, the Leadville and Lake County Hall of Fame and the Leadville Leathernecks Boxing Club. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, snowmobiling and spending time in the mountains.
Martinez is survived by his wife Shirley; children Angelo (Marcella) Padilla, Randy (Diane) Padilla, Carol (Steve) Rendon, Marty Martinez Jr., Jody (Abbey) Martinez, Amanda (Jarod) Martinez-Fox and Darshan (Carlos) Mariano; 16 grandchildren; 25 great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; sisters Rosabell (Manuel) Corrales and Annabelle (John) Vigil; brother Manuel Martinez of Broomfield and numerous nieces and nephews.
Services were held Aug. 31. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. Visit www.kentfuneralhomes.com to leave a condolence or remembrance for his family.