Joe Martinez, Jr., 71, of Amarillo, TX died on October 9, 2019.
The family will receive friends from 5:30 – 7:30 P.M., Friday, October 18, 2019, at Boxwell Brothers Funeral Home, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Joe was born June 19, 1948 in Deming New Mexico. He moved to California in his younger years. When he was 15 a nice man took him under his wing and taught Joe to plumb and construction. Joe did side jobs as well.
Joe served his country in Vietnam. He received a Bronze Star for taking out a Vietcong trap set for Joe’s men to walk in to. Joe was decorated on the battlefield which he said was never done. He taught combat training and rifle marksmanship to new soldiers. Joe was a PFC1 when he entered the service and left the service after 2 years as a Sergeant with an honorable discharge. He acquired 8 medals while in the Army.
While patrolling the jungle of Vietnam, Joe lost his dog tags, replaced them and then forgot about the first set. Many years later, a letter arrived asking if he is the Joe Martinez, Army #, blood type etc. and if so to please call Bob and Ann McMahon. He called. Ann said they were walking on a trail in Vietnam and found a dirty dog tag. Did he want it? He said yes and about a week later this beautiful handmade card arrived with the dog tag and letter. Joe had his wife Deb send an afghan to thank them.
When Joe went to the VA hospital for tests, he had Deb bring a few afghans to pass out to people that would love them as much as he did.
Joe met Deborah Schultz in Astoria, Oregon in 1994 while working for Astoria Plumbing. He moved her to Gresham, Oregon in Feb 1995. In 1997, on April 26th, they married and made their home in Gresham for the next 24 ½ years.
While on the job at Peninsula Plumbing, he was a foreman on many job sites. He challenged different guys he worked with to races. Who could get the job done 1st and done right. His plumbing was always clean. He challenged races because he believed the white guys thought he couldn’t plumb. He thought that on each job where he was foreman that by the end of the day everyone would know that he knew his stuff. Guess who won the challenges? He did. On all the job sites he thought he had to prove his foremanship. On one of the job sites he was so proud to be foreman because is was for the Center for Advanced Learning in Gresham.
Joe professed his faith and love for God to anyone who would listen. He loved the Bible and spent many hours reading and expressing the things the Lord would show him. He looked forward to heaven with all of his heart and has now finally reached his eternal home in the arms and presence of Jesus His Savior.
He is preceded in death by parents, Felisa and Joe Martinez; sister, Connie Aguirre; sons, Joe Jr., and Danny Martinez; and daughter, Donna Schultz.
He is survived by wife, Deborah Kay Martinez; children, Deborah and Bob Helker, Rebekah and Joey Pitcher, Sam and Melissa Martinez, Sera Martinez-Willetts and Jerel Willetts, Rachel and Brett Besterfeldt, Ashlynn Yokoyama, Lyn Schultz and Mike Bussard, Cathy and Nate Malkemus, and Michelle and Cecil Parker; siblings, Danny Martinez, David Martinez, Teresa Martinez, and Art Martinez; and many grandkids and great-grandkids and one on the way.