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Horacio D. Martinez M.D.


1918 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Horacio D. Martinez M.D.

Norfolk - Horacio Duarte Martinez died peacefully at home on August 7th, 2014. He was a retired anesthesiologist, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and founding member of the Colombian Society of Anesthesiologists in 1949.

Horacio was born May 2, 1918, in Málaga, Colombia to Don Aristides Martinez Martinez and Doña Elisa Duarte Blum. As a young man he moved to Bogotá, where he met and married Mercedes Gutierrez Restrepo, with whom he celebrated 67 years of marriage in July.

A precocious student, he began his pre-medical studies in 1933, eventually completing a fellowship in New York under George T. Pack M.D. He served on the staff of Memorial Hospital (Sloan-Kettering) before returning to Bogotá, Colombia to practice.

In 1954, Horacio was granted an anesthesia fellowship to McGill University in Montreal, where he furthered his training as a protégé of Dr. Harold Griffith and of Dr. Wilder Penfield. After a brief return to Colombia, he eventually settled with his family in the United States, first in Cleveland, on the staff of University Hospital-CWRU, and finally in Norfolk, Virginia, where he joined Dr. Julius J. Snyder as one of the original associates in the practice that would eventually grow to become a part of Atlantic Anesthesia.

In 1983, Horacio and Mercedes retired to "Tramontana" in southern Albemarle. Graced with boundless physical as well as mental vigor, Horacio became a champion planter of trees, builder of fences, and engineer of countless new farm projects. In quieter moments, he could invariably be found in his library reading or listening to music with a furry companion at his feet. Known for his broad wealth of knowledge, he was equally at ease discussing tractor maintenance as he was ancient history.

Apart from his professional accomplishments, what most distinguished Horacio was his profound love for his family. He was a kind and generous man.

Horacio was preceded in death by his daughter Juanita and by his younger brother Gonzalo. Survivors include his wife Mercedes; his children Diego (Lynn Phillips) Martinez of Upper Saint Clair, PA; Antonio (Marion Bittinger) Martinez of Verona, Virginia; and Mariana Martinez of Charlottesville, Virginia; his grandchildren Cristina, Melissa, Lara, Gabriel, and Adrian; and his great-grandchildren Elena, Lucia, Theo, and Betty. He also leaves much-loved siblings Alfonso, Sixta Tulia "Tatula", Aminta, Carmen Sofia "Kamensha", and their extended families.

A memorial mass will be held August 30th at 11:00 a.m. at St. George's Catholic Church in Scottsville, Virginia with a reception to follow. Donations in Horacio's name may be made to Hospice of the Piedmont, the SPCA, the Charlottesville Free Clinic, or another .

"Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come."- Rabindrananth Tagore
Published in The Virginian Pilot on Aug. 24, 2014
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