Gavin Martinez passed away peacefully on Thursday evening, Sept. 14, 2017, at his home, surrounded by his family and loved ones.
He was born June 16, 1929, in Holbrook. He lived 88 years and had a very interesting life.
Gavin was one of millions of U.S. men and women who were proud to serve their country in World War II. He was 15 when he enlisted in the Army. He sent all his Army pay home to help his parents, two brothers and four sisters. PFC Gavin Martinez fought in the U.S. Army and landed off Omaha Beach on the third wave of the invasion. He also stood guard at the trials of Nuremberg.
Discharged in 1948, he returned to Holbrook, where he met Sally Gallegos and married her. He and Sally were married for 35 years and had six children, Gavin Jr. “Buster,” Eileen, who died of pneumonia, another Eileen, Marlene, Rick (Roberta) and David (Debbie).
He was preceded in death by his parents, Federico and Alicia Martinez; his wife, Sally; a daughter, Eileen; and a son, Rick. He was the last of his siblings.
He is also survived by 15 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Over the years, Gavin worked in the Maverick Logging Camp, for both The Arizona Republic and the Holbrook Tribune-News for 24 years as a typesetter and linotype operator, respectively, and for the Arizona Department of Transportation for 18 years. After he retired he opened Gavinos Restaurant in Show Low.
He divided his life between family, work and volunteering. He volunteered at The Love Kitchen for four years, and was a member of the American Legion, Elks Lodge, Moose Lodge and the Cooties, and was a proud member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, where he served as an honor guard. He was American Legion commander in Holbrook in 1948.
A memorial service was held Sept. 22 at the VFW in Show Low, followed by a reception. A Christian graveside service officiated by Deacon Mike Asherfelder was held Sept. 23 at the Holbrook Cemetery, with a reception following at the American Legion Hall. Holy Mass will be celebrated at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Hospice Compassus, 1789 W Commerce, Lakeside, Ariz. 85929.