EAST CARBON - Joe D. Martinez, age 87, passed away Jan. 24, 2012 in Price.
He was born June 18, 1924 in Edith, Colo., to Jose Delores and Virginia Chavez Martinez.
Joe married Cordie Baca, December 3, 1942 in Durango, Colo; she passed away on Sept. 16, 2003.
At an early age he was set up on a horse to ride 10 miles from Edith to Lumberton for household supplies. When he turned 11 he started working for the government delivering goods to the sheep herders above the mountains in Durango. At 17, he worked in the silver mine in Silverton, riding to work in a coal bucket swinging from a cable through the snowy mountains with a wool blanket for cover. In his 20s, he began working for Kaiser Steel in Sunnyside where he remained an active and proud supporter of the United Mine Workers of America.. Joe also salvaged coal furnaces and delivered coal to many of the homes in Dragerton.
Joe and Cordie were excellent dancers and on the weekends they looked forward to the dances in Helper. Joe enjoyed camping with his family and he taught his sons to hunt and fish. He liked to play blackjack in Vegas and poker on the sidewalks in Telluride.
He loved cattle ranching, horses and his dogs. He loved watching western movies with beautiful scenery. He was a member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church, but the mountains were his real sanctuary.
Most of all, he was a joker. Joe loved walking into Miner's Trading Post and yelling some loud noise. One time he stood by the watermelons and ask Mr. Leonard, "Are these melons any good?", then he pulled out his knife and cut into one. "Nope, no good!" and pretended to start for another. Joe loved to make everyone laugh and he will be sorely missed by all.
Survived by two sons, Dr. Paul (Cathy) Martinez, Price; Marc Martinez, Columbia; two sisters and one brother, Teresa Romero, Denver, Colo; Leo Martinez, Orem; Josie Gallegos, Cortez, Colo; and eight loving grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, infant son; daughter, Kaye L. Martinez; wife, Cordie; daughter, Judy Reavis; and brother Joe Martinez.
Funeral Mass, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, 10 a.m., Good Shepherd Catholic Church in East Carbon. Family will be at the church Friday one hour prior to Mass. Committal service, Valley View Cemetery, Sunnyside. Arrangements entrusted to Mitchell Funeral Home of Price where friends are welcome daily and may share memories of Joe at www.mitchellfuneralhome.net.