May 19, 1951 – October 30, 2023

Gilbert Anthony “Gil” Martinez, a remarkable family man and friend, a veteran judge, and a fixture in the El Paso County judicial community for more than four decades, passed away Monday, October 30, 2023, while on a hunting trip. He was a Colorado native, and a Colorado Springs resident since 1978.

Gilbert was born on May 19, 1951, in Trinidad, Colorado, to Eufemio E. Martinez and Crystella O. (Roybal) Martinez.  He attended Northglenn High School and went on to graduate from the University of Colorado Denver, earning a degree in Political Science (Bachelor of Science). Gilbert received his law degree from the University of Colorado Boulder and was admitted to the bar in 1978. Gil was appointed District Court Judge of the 4th Judicial District by Governor Roy Romer on November 14, 1989. 

Gil began his legal career at Pikes Peak Legal Services, before joining the Colorado Springs Public Defender’s Office, where he served as director during the final four years of his 11-year tenure there.  During his almost 3 decades on the bench, Gil twice served as El Paso County Chief Judge, and was instrumental in the effort to expand the El Paso County Courthouse, to handle the increasing caseload from the county’s growing population.

Gilbert developed a reputation for being dogged in his pursuit of justice. In 2017, Gilbert shared with The Gazette as he was retiring, that he loved being a judge and that it was a great career.  Even though Gil retired as a full-time judge in 2017, he continued on with his passion to adjudicate cases across the State of Colorado as a Senior Judge.  Too numerous to note, over the years he served or supported a myriad of local organizations and boards, and was an ardent advocate for education. 

On June 17, 1972, Gil married the love of his life, Joanie CdeBaca in Denver, Colorado.  They were married for more than 51 years. Gil and Joanie lovingly raised two children, and became the proud grandparents of seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Gilbert loved hunting, fishing, and golf, and was an avid historian.  Gil was a fervent Denver Broncos fan, and a fan of all Colorado sports teams. Mostly though, he enjoyed spending time with his family.  Gil was a dedicated and loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. Spending time with family and friends always came first. Gil appreciated a good joke and always had one on hand to bring smiles to all. He loved to dance and enjoyed a variety of music, especially from his favorite artist, Ruben Ramos. 

Gilbert is survived by his wife, Joanie Martinez; his son, Carlos (Cheryl) Martinez; his daughter, Laura Martinez (and family) and special niece Angelic (Michael); seven grandchildren and one great grandson. He is also survived by two brothers, Dean (Alice) and Dwayne; and two sisters, Edna and Frances (David); and numerous nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his brother, Ernest (Sandy); his sister, Roseann; and his parents, Eufemio and Crystella (Roybal) Martinez.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Gilbert’s name may be made to El Cinco de Mayo, Inc., P.O. Box 17373, Colorado Springs, CO 80935-7373 (

A celebration of Gilbert’s life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, at the Shrine of Remembrance “America the Beautiful” Chapel, 1730 E. Fountain Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80910.

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This Obituary Has 12 Condolences

  1. Gil was blessing – kind yet a smart aleck, funny but always serious when it was needed. Willing to discuss controversial subjects in a respectful way. I was touched when he called me a few weeks ago to wish me well before surgery. Very smart and a huge credit to his family and community. I will profoundly miss him with certainty of meeting him again in Heaven; I know his dad, Eufemio was among the first to welcome him home.

  2. As a friend of Dean’s I would like to say how very sorry I am to hear of Gilbert’s passing. I wish there was a way I could ease your pain.🙏🙏

  3. my condolences to Joanie and Carlos ,Laura and entire Martinsz family ,Gil was my 1st cousin ,our Mothers were sisters, I have always had much respect for my cousin Gil ,and so proud that’ll he was a judge ! I used to say here comes the judge lol ,his wife Joanie was just as cool the perfect couple ,Gil you will be truly missed here on earth , And in Heaven with your loved one’s ❤ RIP 🙏 ❤ COUSIN GILBERT MARTINEZ MUCH RESPECT AND LOVE ,IN JESUS NAME AMEN 🙏 ❤

  4. Our hearts are heavy. Sully and I appreciate all that you and Joanie did to help us out with shoveling the sidewalk and driveway. bringing us food so I would not have to cook while we were having back pain.
    I will miss your laughter and your jokes.
    We will take good care of Joanie. You rest now.
    Harold (Sully) and Carrie

  5. I have known Gil for many, many years. In my humble opinion, there aren’t enough positive and descriptive words to describe this man. Behind the scenes and quietly, he was very instrumental in helping many people in this community. He was friendly, and despite his success, he was a very humble man. I will miss the fishing trips with him and his son, Carlos. May God Bless Joanie & Gil’s family with the strength and acceptance to cope with their loss. Rest in peace my friend.

  6. There actually aren’t words to properly express my gratitude, love and deep respect for this incredible man. Gil profoundly impacted me and my life in ways I will never be able to repay. His character, strong moral compass and keen ability to witness my pain without judgement was a gift I find as a rarity in this world. My heart pours love for Joanie and Gil’s memory. A man of extraordinary goodness, you will be missed, Gil. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. Thank you for being a part of my life. I’m truly made better for having known you.
    Gratitude~Lexie S

  7. I knew Gil personally when I worked for his wife, Joanie. What I remember most about him was his infectious laughter. When I got hired as a police officer, I distinctly remember Gil telling me that if I was ever in his courtroom, I better have my ducks in a row. I never forgot that and I did have to testify in his courtroom a few times. Even though I knew him, being in Gil’s courtroom made me nervous because I wanted to make sure my ducks were in a row. Gil was strict but fair and had a big heart. He was immensely respected by the law enforcement community. Gil is a huge loss not only to his family but to this community who respected him. Rest easy, Judge Martínez.

  8. I only got to know Gil through his son Carlos. He was a truly unique man. The position he held in our community was very powerful yet to meet him you would never know that. A “family first” man that demonstrated none of the trappings power can bring. A genuine man to be admired and respected. His death is a loss to the community, and our state. Few men lead by example as he did. I can only say I wish I had known him longer.

  9. Even at this time of unimaginable sorrow at his loss, I cannot think of Judge Gil Martinez without a smile automatically coming to my face. In addition to his intelligence, love of the law, love of community and his beautiful family, he was one of the funniest people I have ever known. I will always carry the memories of the laughs we shared. I will treasure my association with him and the positive impact he made in my life forever. To Joanie and Gil’s wonderful family, my prayers for the strength to ride the waves of sorrow with grace and resilience and with the love of everyone who is blessed to know them.

  10. Hi Joanie: I know that you do not mostly likely remember me but I had the pleasure of being Jury Commissioner when Judge Martinez was Chief Judge for the second go around. He was such a kind and understanding man. During that period of time, I found out my 29 year old daughter had cancer and I lost her within six months of finding out. He was so kind, caring, supportive, and understanding. You do not find that often these days from coworkers, but I don’t believe he saw any of us as JUST coworkers but friends. I will deeply miss him forever.

  11. My deepest condolences to the Martinez family. I did not know Mr. Martinez personally or professionally. However, I spent nearly a decade working with his son, Carlos. I heard many wonderful stories from Carlos about their Bronco games and hunting trips. Hold close to your many wonderful memories and the lessons & wisdom shared for comfort. Godspeed!

  12. Heartbreaking! Rest in Peace cousin 😢sending prayers for your family to heal 💔💔💔

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