Carlos Martinez: Casualty of Covid-19

Carlos and Ruth Martinez in 2012.

Carlos Martinez passed away from complications of Covid – 19 this past December. In 1928 he was delivered at home on Cerro Gordo Road by the patera (midwife) Francesquita Gonzales. Carlos was one of seven children born to Andres R. Martinez and Filomena Brito. After graduating from high school he worked first at Feldhake Shoe Store and then at Bell’s Department store. When the couple first married they moved to San Francisco where Carlos sold shoes at Galen Kamp on Market Street. When the couple returned they built their home on Cerro Gordo where they lived for more than half a century.

A Call to Public Service

In the 1960s Carlos Martinez was elected County Commissioner for what was then Santa Fe County District 1. He served on the commission with Don King and George Gonzales. During his tenure the group adopted the Indigenous Hospital Claims act that enabled the poor to get medical care.    In 1983 Martinez became the Director of State Parks under Gov. Toney Anaya. By 1988 he held the position of Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission under Gov. Bruce King.

Partners for Life

Ruth and Carlos Martinez in San Francisco in 1947.

Carlos and Ruth enjoyed 73 years of marriage. As a couple they were active in the religious fraternity, La Cofradia de Nuestra Señora de Rosario and Los Sociedad Colonial Española dance group. Their three children were active in the Fiesta de Santa Fe. Their daughter, Cordelia, was a Santa Fe Fiesta queen in 1967. In 1979 their son Christopher portrayed Don Diego De Vargas, while their son Carlos Jr. was a member of the De Vargas court that year.

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