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APOLONIO "POLO" MARTINEZ

Apolonio "Polo" Martinez slipped beautifully and peacefully from his journey through this world into his home in Heaven on April 26, 2013. Polo was born on July 5, 1926, in Brownsville, Texas.

Polo was a great example of a kind, compassionate, hard-working individual who lived life to the fullest and savored every moment. He lived by his motto that "nothing is worth doing unless you do it right" and passed that on to his family. He and the love of his life, Lillian Ruth met and married to form a bond that would span sixty-four years and beyond the death of his beloved "Nena". In their youth, they were both excellent dancers and their friends would often tell Polo's children how people would form a circle to watch them dance. Perhaps upon Polo's arrival in heaven, they danced a jitterbug. He so missed her after she went to be with the Lord. The family is confident that Polo is very happy at her side once more.

In his earlier years, he discovered the game of golf. It became his avid hobby. He taught his children, grandchildren and most recently was teaching his great-grandchildren. His golf buddies were very special to him.

Polo retired from Southwestern Bell Co. where he worked his way through the ranks to higher positions. He was a loyal employee who gave his best to his company. He later went on to open one of the first independent telephone installation and repair companies in Brownsville.

Polo was a Master Mason in good standing at the Rio Grande Lodge No. 81. The lessons he learned through his brotherhood with the Masons served to strengthen his Christian purpose to live an honorable life.

He was member of Central Christian Church and along with Lillian, served in leadership at Bella Vista Christian church, the mission church of Central Christian at the time.

He was a patriot of patriots who proudly served in the United States Navy and the Air Force of the United States. He fought in World War II and the Korean War and was honorably discharged from both branches. Most recently he served as Senior Vice Commander with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2035 in Brownsville. He worked hard toward the success of the organization and valued his comrades at the Post. In September of 2009, he was interviewed by the Texas Historical Commission for a book titled: Oral History Memoirs of Apolonio Martinez, U.S. Navy - Texas and World War II .

He was preceded in death by his father Apolonio Martinez Sr., his mother Felicitas Cisneros Martinez, his son-in-law Alfonso X. Soto Sr., and the love of his life, Lillian Ruth Childress Martinez. He was also preceded in death by his siblings: Manuel Galvan, Consuelo Aguilar, Angel Martinez Sr., Refugia "Cookie" Martinez, and several nieces and nephews. After the death of his last sibling, his family used to tease him that he was the "last of the Mojicans". The family has lost the last link to a truly great generation.

Polo is survived by his daughter Neida Ruth Soto-Grantland (Bob), his son Rodolph "Rudy" Omar Martinez (Nydia), his grandchildren, Al Soto Jr. (Eunice), Ruth "Ruthie" Gates (Jason), Miriam "Mimi" Martinez, Tony Soto (Sheeran), Felicia Martinez (Louis), his great-grandchildren, Ileana Ruth Gates, Karen Elizabeth "Lizzie" Gates, Julia Alexis "Lexie" Gates and many nieces and nephews.

Polo's family will receive friends and family from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday April, 30, 2013, at Garza Memorial Funeral Home at 1025 E. Jackson, Brownsville, Texas. A celebration of Polo's life will begin at 1 p.m. at Garza Memorial Funeral Home. At Polo's request, a graveside service will he held for family only.

Military Honors will be conducted by the Veterans of Foreign War Post #2035 in Brownsville, Texas.

Al Soto Jr., Tony Soto, Jason A. Gates, Arturo Antonio Nelson, Louis Cuevas, and Sean Osborn are honored to be serving as Polo's pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers are the Honorable Judge A.C. Nelson, Hon. Judge Arturo McDonald Jr., Senator Eddie Lucio Jr., Guillermo Serrano, Angel Martinez Jr., Sergio Martinez, Efrain Martinez, Rolando Aguilar, Eleazar Dominguez Jr., Al Senteno, Lupe Leal, Joe Nuñez, Jesse Rodriguez, Albert Vera, David O Childress, Charles F. Childress, Eddie Hernandez, Gaston Galvan, his many comrades at the Veteran's of Foreign Wars Post 2035, and his brothers at the Rio Grande Masonic Lodge No. 81.

The family will forever be grateful to the many doctors who served him in his time of need, to Odyssey Sandi Jo Funk hospice program and the wonderful nursing staff on the second floor and the progressive care unit at Valley Regional Medical Center who cared for him so well and showed great compassion to the family.

Without a doubt, his absence leaves a great void in his family's lives, but we are all assured of eternal life with the Lord where we will see him once again.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2035 in Memory of Apolonio Martinez, Jr. Donations may be sent to Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2035 to the attention of Quarter Master and Service Officer at 1801 Veterans Drive, Brownsville, TX 78521.

You may view the obituary, sign the guest book, and send your condolences online to Apolonio Martinez Jr.'s family at www.garzamemorialfh.com

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Garza Memorial Funeral Home, 1025 E. Jackson St., Brownsville, TX 78520 (956)542-5511.

Published in Brownsville Herald on Apr. 29, 2013
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