Janie Martinez
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Janie Martinez, co-founder of Matt's El Rancho - an iconic South Austin eatery - died Saturday night in Austin. She was 90.
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Jun. 3, 2013.
Memories & Condolences
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28 entries
June 14, 2013
Dear Martinez Family:
It is with great sorrow that we discovered that one of the shinning lights of Austin has gone. Our mother greatly respected and adored Janie. (I also have fond memories of Mrs. Martinez sitting at the cash register in the old downtown Austin. I will also associate that image with El Rancho.) We feel your sorrow and hope that you know she has joined Matt. If there is anything we can do, please let us know.
God Bless You All,
Gilbert, Marci, Gordon, Alma, Pierpont King
June 11, 2013
Kathy, I am soooo sorry for your loss. Your mother was a wonderful woman. She will be remembered.
Shauna Bradford
June 9, 2013
My mom and dad Doris and Wallace Shropshire, my brother John and I, enjoyed many happy meals at the restaurant where we were greeted by Matt and Janie and treated like family. Even when we moved away from Austin, we often planned our visits there for days when we know it was open. The unique Chili Rellenos are the best I've ever eaten and I ordered them every time we dined there. Rest in peace Janie - we'll miss your smiling face and warm hospitality.
Cheryl Shropshire
June 6, 2013
We're sorry for your loss. We count ourselves fortunate to have known Mrs. Martinez and have been on the receiving end of her kindness and smiles.
Sean & Minnie Ma
June 4, 2013
Dear Gloria, Cecilia, Cathy and the family,
Mary Jane and I want to express to you our Deepest Sympathy and Love at this important time in life. Aunt Janie will truely be missed and will forever be in our Hearts and Prayers. We'll especially miss cooking all the special dinners we had with Aunt Janie and your Aunt Lena around our table, sharing all the wonderful and memorable family stories. A wonderful time that Mary Jane and will never forget!
May God Bless you and the family.

According to John 3:16 -
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Julian Orosco
June 4, 2013
So very sorry for your loss. Many wonderful times have been had by me and mine because of you and yours. Your mom and dad put smiles(and full bellies) on so many Austinites it should be illegal. Hope you find comfort in knowing how many lives your mom touched and how special she was to anyone who walked through y'alls doors over the years.
Jeff Farr
June 4, 2013
Condolences to Cathy and the rest of the Martinez family. May my Madrina rest in peace in the glory of our Lord.....I will miss seeing you in Mass at St. Ignatius during the week.....Your husband and your Comadre Chita will wait with open arms to greet you. God Bless You.
Love,
Janie Maldonado Felan
June 4, 2013
Our heartfelt condolences to the Martinez family. Janie and Matt were very special people my brothers and I were very fortunate to work for them and yes very caring and thoughtful. Rest In Peace.
Mary Compton and the Compton family
June 4, 2013
My Mom, Rubye Bru, loved Janie & Matt. She absolutely cherished eating at Matt's El Rancho. KVET/KASE bought for her a table had her name on it. I need to go have lunch there and see if her nameplate is still on that table. I grew up eating at Matt's. Janie was a wonderful lady, and Mom thought the world of her. My prayers are with the entire family.
Henry Robertson
June 4, 2013
Mrs. Martinez always made me feel at home when I would visit from dallas so much so she opened her home to me when I was going to college-I will miss her greatly! I will be praying for her & the family who have been true friends
Jacob Johnston
June 4, 2013
Although gone in body, your spirit will live on in all the people you have touched. You and Matt were a great inspuration and suport to many people in Austin. I love you and will miss you.
Your good friend, Maria Kennedy, El Gallo Restaurant
June 3, 2013
Janie and Matt were very special to our family and to all of Austin. We will always remember both of them for their kindnesses and great family values. Our thoughts and prayers will be with all the family. Our deepest condolences, Morton and Susie Krumholz
June 3, 2013
Aunt Janie, your kindness and beautiful
smile will be missed. Rest in Peace.
Ronnie Martinez
June 3, 2013
I'm so grateful to Mrs. Martinez and her husband, who created such a wonderful restaurant. I always feel at home, just like I'm in someone's backyard, enjoying Austin to the fullest. She was always welcoming and gracious.
June 3, 2013
I only knew Mrs. Martinez a short time but I could tell right away she was a gracious, strong, warm, and caring woman.
Mary Sass
June 3, 2013
Our love to the Martinez family.
She will be missed. Our prayers are with you during this difficult time. So glad she could celebrate the 60 wonderful years of Matts!
blessings to you all
Dori and Ray - Time Warner Media
June 3, 2013
My heartfelt condolences to the Martinez family at this difficult time. She lived a long life with much love for her family and friends. I know you have many good memories of her that will carry you through this time knowing that she is resting peacefully with her God. Thank you, Mrs. Martinez.
Margaret J. Gomez
June 3, 2013
Now at peace with her husband. Thanks for your spirit here. It will always be appreciated.
George Machock
June 3, 2013
My heartfelt condolences I send to all the family members and relatives of Mrs. Janie Marinez. I had the privilege and honor to be the caregiver of Matt Martinez Sr. for a long period, upon the request of Mrs. Martinez. The whole family welcomed me immediately, especially Mrs. Martinez. I remember hearing her recollections of the humble beginings of Matt's El Rancho and trips taken with her family. She was a devout Catholic. I learned about having more faith and perservance from her, regarding trials and tribulations in life with a mutual understanding. She was an accomplished artist and we had vivid conversations about art, since I painted as well. Mrs. Martinez bluebonet paintings were awesome. Also, Mrs. Martinez always made time for her family and believed they were a blessing from God. She loved all her children and grandchildren greatly. My time in the Martinez family home turned from days, to weeks, and months, eventually into years, until the passing of Matt Martinez Sr. who Mrs. Janie Martinez is now joining. My very wise grandmother once told me, "We all have a purpose in life and God gives us a chance to connect in life with others because upon passing on, its too late." I am grateful and thankful to have connected during a part of my life with Matt Martinez Sr. and Janie Martinez, along with the rest of their
beautiful family.
"The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord!" -Job 1, 21
Ray P. Cabrera
June 2, 2013
As a young man studying at UT in 1972, I was hired to to seat customers during the gigantic lunch hour rush (at the old #1 location on the north side of First Street now Cesar Chavez), and, to a much lesser extent, to fetch drinks and serve food.

In 2007, some 34 years later, I walked into the "new" restaurant and saw, for the first time since 1973, Janie seated at a table in the front dining room. I walked up to her and asked her, "Janie, do you remember me?"

Without missing a beat, she replied matter-of-factly,

"Yes, your name is Ray and you used to work lunch." She was as sharp as they come, to the end.

Recalling the Martinez family, tears come to my eyes. Matt used to make small loans to me as advances. Both of them were always kind and encouraging to me, though they demanded attentive work. What I didn't earn in money there, they made up with simple kindness and sincerity.

In a small but still meaningful way, I get the sense I have lost a parent. Rest in peace, Janie.
Raymond Goodrich
June 2, 2013
Heartfelt condolences.
The Calzada's
June 2, 2013
My thoughts are prayers are with the Martinez family. God Bless Mrs. Martinez. I still have fond memories of serving the Martinez family at Red Lobster on many Tuesdays back in the late 80's. Mr. Martinez would not let me pick up his plate until after the family left because he would always leave an extra $5 or $10 every time. I return the favor by visiting Matt's El Rancho when I can. May they both have a very peaceful rest together again.
Anthony Loera
June 2, 2013
Ms. M was a good friend,an inspiration to me, and full of love. She practiced her faith in her life. I will never forget her.
Karen Batey
June 2, 2013
My condolences to the family as well as our prayers. Janie and Matt are very special people who live forever in our hearts and minds. They never turned away a friend or a stranger from off the street if they were hungry and in need. She held me in her arms behind the cash register a lot loving on me as my Dad and their Family were friends. Not only has the Austin Business Community lost a Business Pioneer, But a Lady of Love and Character Who Will Always Be Remembered As irreplaceable! Again, Our Prayers are with You, And I can See Matt's face smiling as he met you at heavens gate!
The Ted Hughes and Family
June 2, 2013
So sorry for your's and my lost of a wonderful lady. My God best your family.


Ray Wilkerson
June 2, 2013
even though I live in Minnesota now, I had many wonderful meals at El Rancho when I lived in Austin ad when I visited., I hope her family will keep the restaurant open, in her memory.
Barbara Broberg
June 2, 2013
We will miss you Miss Janie.
Michael Candelas
June 2, 2013
On behalf of the whole UT American Studies and Foodways Texas family, our deepest condolences.
Elizabeth Engelhardt
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