It is with a heavy heart that the family of Joe Hector Martinez share the news of his passing. Hector was born on April 9, 1953, and died on June 10, 2021. He did it in his own way, his own terms: in the comfort of his home, his own bed, with loved ones close by, giving him constant care and attention. Hector was diagnosed with kidney cancer nearly five years ago and continued to work for another two years while undergoing chemo and radiation treatments. If you knew Hector, you know that he was a fighter until the end. Hector was born to Jose and Josephine Martinez and raised in Porterville, Calif. He was a graduate of Monache High School and attended Porterville College. From a very young age, Hector labored alongside his father pruning fruit. He'd prune on weekends and during the summer. While other kids were enjoying their hot San Joaquin Valley summers playing in swimming pools, Hector was working. He developed a work ethic that lasted a lifetime! Hector and his father eventually formed a partnership and became farm labor contractors to farmers throughout Tulare County. Hector first arrived in the Salinas Valley in 1986 and was ranch manager for Burton L. Silva Farms in King City, Calif. He would go on to be a loss control consultant with companies that insured agricultural businesses and would retire as a safety consultant in December 2018 from Harvest Moon, a company that produces the world's sweetest strawberries. At one time, Hector was a Planning Commissioner for the City of Soledad; he was a member of King City Knights of Columbus; and belonged to the Soledad Lions Club. Hector adored his fellow Lions and thoroughly enjoyed the many community projects they were involved in, especially chicken and tri-tip barbeque fund-raisers for our local Soledad schools. Hector believed education was of the absolute utmost importance, as to his grandchildren can attest. He was so looking forward to his oldest granddaughter's graduation from Sacramento State in December 2021. Grandpa will be there in spirit, Janessa! Hector was so very proud of his children. He took great delight in the good parents they are and the successful careers they have. He truly loved all of his family! Hector was a private and serious man, who always believed in being punctual, but he had a fun-loving side to him, also. (Hector loved playing Santa Claus at many a family Christmas gathering.) People looked to him as a father- or brother-figure, and in his own humble way, he had a profound impact on many, many lives. Loved ones who survive are wife, Jana Terry Martinez; daughter, Emelina Martinez; son, Joe Martinez (Paulina); grandchildren: Janessa, Francisco, Viviana, Kayla, Nevaeh, Adriel, Draco, Ambrielle, and Vidia-all Martinezes. Hector is also survived by his sister, Dalila Miller; and many adorning cousins, nieces, nephews, and fur babies. Those who predeceased Hector are his parents, Jose and Josephine; son, Francisco; brothers, Raymond and Johnny Alvarado; baby brother, Francisco; sisters, Jovita Limon and Deneva Martinez; and son-in-law Victor Martinez. Visitation will be held Tuesday, June 22, 2021 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Woodyard Funeral Home in Soledad. Mass will be recited on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Solitude Catholic Church in Soledad. Burial will follow at Soledad Community Cemetery. Memorial contributions are greatly appreciated to Soledad Alumni Friends & Family Scholarship Foundation-Soledad High School, Soledad Historical Society or South County Animal Rescue. A special thank you to Dr. Shehzad Aziz and staff, and Central Coast VNA/Hospice: A big hug to Desiree, Maddie, Rosa, Joanna, Catalina, Senorina, Ken and beloved Gaby. My mind still talks to you, and my heart still looks for you, but my soul knows you are at peace. As 7-year-old Paisley said it best, "I'm jealous because now Uncle Hector has a beautiful view." Rest in peace, dear Hector.
Published by Salinas Valley Tribune from Jun. 16 to Jun. 22, 2021.