Born Maria Angela Guadalupe Martinez, Angela was a devoted daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She passed away peacefully in her home in Tucumcari, New Mexico on April 27, 2021, after leading an extraordinary life of service to thousands of children as a teacher.
In 1955 when she was just 17, Angela left high school after skipping two grades and took a train to Chicago by herself to join the Adrian Dominican sisters. She finished high school in the convent in Adrian, Michigan and later received her bachelor's degree from Barry College for Women in Florida and her Master's degree in education at Northern Arizona University.
Beginning her love of adventure and travel, as a young nun Angela taught at Catholic elementary schools in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. She spoke fondly of her years there recalling her feelings of inclusion and belonging in these Hispanic cultures and the generosity of her students' families. After she left the convent, Angela continued teaching elementary school in Las Cruces until her retirement 25 years later. Angela was a patient and dedicated teacher who taught generations of children to read, write and love learning. Her students went on to become teachers, professors, doctors, lawyers, artists, musicians, and servicemen/women. She spent summers with her siblings and their children and was the first to volunteer to take the kids swimming, to the park and to play games.
Angela loved to read, especially murder mysteries. She always had a book with her that she was working on finishing and at the time of her death had three thick library books checked out waiting to be read. Angela instilled a love of learning in her nieces and nephews, allowing them to order as many books as they wanted from the Scholastic Book Club every year. She also was always available for long distance consultations on their high school and college Spanish homework. Beyond academics, Angela loved arts and crafts, sewing, baking, science fiction, good food and chocolate and never missed sending birthday and holiday cards. She was strong in her Catholic faith and was extremely charitable. Angela was a fun and adventurous travel companion to her siblings and nieces and together they visited many national parks and experienced wonders like Times Square, the Washington Monuments, White Sands, the San Francisco wharf, Disneyland and Disneyworld, rode the California Zephyr from Denver to San Francisco and countless roller coasters, and traveled abroad to Mexico many times as well as Australia and Tasmania. She was modern in her world view, embraced technology and change, and was always the first to respond to group texts with funny and encouraging replies.
She is preceded in death by her beloved parents, Soledad (Ortiz) and Eloy Martinez; and leaves behind five younger siblings, Rose, Cornie, Eloy, Judy and Gary and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A rosary and funeral mass will be held at Saint Anne's parish in Tucumcari on Saturday, May 15, 2021, beginning at 9:00 a.m.
Published in Quay County Sun from May 10 to May 12, 2021.