Mike Martínez passed away on September 9, 2013 in El Paso, Texas. He is survived by his wife Concepción Martínez; his four children Rubi Ponzio, Mike and Bobby Martínez, and Velma Guerrero; as well as five grandchildren Crystal and Valerie Ponzio, Rebecca Guerrero, Santiago and Elizabeth Martínez as well as three great-grandchildren, Shae, Jalen, and Kairah Ponzio, and preceded in death by his grandson, Randy Ponzio, Jr. Born in 1931 in El Reno, Oklahoma and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Mike lived his life with a constant sense of adventure and curiosity about the world. He joined the United States Air Force just out of high school and met his love of nearly 60 years while stationed at Biggs Air Force Base. After graduating Brigham Young University with honors, Mike was the consummate worker and provider, wearing many different hats during his lifetime: horse-jockey and trainer, Golden Gloves award winning boxer, Chicano rights activist, and perhaps most importantly, teacher. Mike taught Spanish at Henderson Middle School for 26 years, becoming a mentor that some of his students described as another Jaime Escalante. Above all, Mike was a true gentleman, always the first to lend a hand in times of need, always respectful, and a pillar of support, encouragement, and knowledge for his children and grandchildren. A deep and curious soul, witty and bright, he had a unique appreciation of classical music and classic literature. He left us with profound lessons about life, goodness, and the value of knowledge that we will cherish always. We love him and will miss him with all of our hearts. Visitation will be Friday, September 13, 2013 from 5:00pm to 9:00pm at Mt. Carmel Funeral Home with prayer service at 7:00pm. Funeral service will be Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 12:00pm at Mt. Carmel Funeral Home with interment to follow at Evergreen East Cemetery with military honors. Please come honor and celebrate Mike's life with us!
Published in El Paso Times from Sept. 11 to Sept. 18, 2013