MARTINEZ, Victor (M. D., J.D.) 78, passed away peacefully at home on July 1, 2013, due to congestive heartfailure.Dr. Martinez was a native Tampan, son of immigrant Spanish parents. He attended Jefferson High School and he attained his undergraduate degree at the University of Florida, where he was a member of Florida Blue Key.He received post-graduate degrees in both medicine and law from the University of Miami, where he was a member of Iron Arrow.He practiced general, thoracic and cardiovascular surgery for over 35 years. He distinguished himself in so many areas.He was board certified by the American Board of Surgery and the Board of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.He was an Assistant Clinical Professional of Surgery at the University of South Florida School of Medicine since its inception. He was appointed by Governor Rubin Askew for eight years to the Florida State Board of Medical Examiners and later became its Chairman.A pioneer in heart surgery in the Tampa Bay area, he was the first to perform a coronary bypass procedure in 1967 at Tampa General Hospital.During his surgical practice, he was well known for advocating quality health care for indigent patients throughout Tampa.Later on in his medical career, he continued to focus on indigent care issues when he worked as the medical director for the Hillsborough County Indigent Health Care Plan.In the field of law, he concentrated exclusively on medical and other healthcare related issues. He enjoyed working with many attorneys throughout the State including his son, Victor Daniel Martinez; and his daughter, Kathy Martinez.He was a member of The Florida Bar and a member of the American Society of Law and Medicine as well as a member of the College of Forensic Examiners.During the Vietnam War he was the Deputy Chief of Surgery serving as a Commander in the United States Navy, stationed at Marine Hospital in Staten Island, NY.He was active in local and state politics.He was a 32nd Degree Mason. He always remained true to his roots and adamantly supported Hispanic hospitals, organizations, and leaders.In 1996, he was awarded The Hispanic Man of the Year Award.He was renowned for his sense of humor and story-telling abilities.He was at his best when surrounded by people he could entertain and make laugh. He was preceded in death by his parents, David and Mary Martinez.He is survived by his loving wife, Aline; his children, Victor Daniel Martinez (Karen) and Kathy Martinez; his brother, Daniel Martinez (Ann); four granddaughters , Christina Wallder (Stephen), Jennifer Martinez, Elizabeth Martinez, and Katherine Martinez; and three great-grandchildren, Noah Wallder, Scarlett Wallder, and Maddox Brown.He was also survived by his sister-in-law, Sandra Menendez; six nieces and nephews, Natalie Hogan (Joe), Myra Poplin (Kyle), Mark Menendez, Daniel Martinez (Joyce), David Martinez (Delpha), and Denise Welch (Michael).He is also survived by many loving cousins. A Memorial Service in Honor of Dr. Martinez' life will be held on Tuesday, July 9th, 4 pm, at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, 5225 N. Himes Ave, with Monsignor Laurence E. Higgins, P.A., Pastor Emeritus, officiating.There will be a Reception at Higgins Hall immediately following the Memorial Service. Online condolences are available at www.jgrfuneralhome.com.
Published in the Tampa Bay Times on July 6, 2013