Maria Martinez passed away on July 27, 2020 at the age of 82 with her husband of 56 years, Al Martinez, at her side.
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The youngest of 3 sisters, Maria was born in La Habana, Cuba and came to the United States in 1963.
She immediately became a US citizen and wore her patriotism with great pride. She married Al in 1964.
Their’s is a true love story. They met when they were 10 years old and became friends. They skated and rode bikes at the local park as kids and went to parties as teenagers. They moved apart but he never forgot her. They reconnected after they both defected to the United States and this time he won her over and they married. They moved from Florida to New York to Texas and finally retired in Colorado near their daughter Grace, her husband Lane Yard and their grandson, Nicolas.
Maria loved music, adventure and politics and had a wonderful sense of humor. Her generous spirit left a mark on everyone who knew her. She had a beautiful way of noticing people that felt overlooked. She befriended someone everywhere she went - the cashier at the grocery store, the bank teller, all of the sales people at her favorite stores. She took interest in their lives and would often show up with a small gift or a card. She made people feel cared for and special.
She hated highways and always discovered an alternate route. The side streets gave her the opportunity to do what she loved most, explore. She found little shops, restaurants and cafes and made friendships all along the way. She followed all the latest trends and by the time others had discovered an up and coming style she was on to the next.
She was forever buying new gadgets and no matter how bizarre they seemed and how much her family made fun of them, they always came in handy at the perfect time.
Her husband once said if they were traveling and the plane had to make an emergency landing she would have enough in her perfectly packed bag to feed all the passengers, signal for help and fix the plane. And if the plane needed tires she would be able to offer a choice of Goodyear or Michelin.
She never felt that any situation was too serious for laughter and could easily poke fun at herself. Even after so many years in the United States she would get tickled when she mispronounced a word in English. She would purposefully draw out the E in the word “sheets" but would giggle uncontrollably when someone misunderstood what queen sized thing she was referring to.
Her family takes great comfort in knowing that free of a body that no longer served her, her spirit is free to roam and discover and that those who feel invisible or overlooked now have a lovely, tender angel on their shoulder.
In lieu of flowers please honor her beautiful spirit by exploring a side street, connecting with someone new or dancing to your favorite song. And please never forget that laughter is always, always appropriate.