The world became a better place on May 18, 1943 when William Lee Martinez entered the world. He was born in Colorado Springs, CO at Glockner Hospital, which is now Penrose Main. On that day, Fred C. Martinez and Mollie Aurora Tafoya began raising one of the most loving men.
On October 6, 2023, William “Bill” Martinez gained his angel wings and reunited with many family members that had preceded him in death: his parents: Fred C. and Mollie Martinez; his brothers: Philip, Charlie, Max, Freddie Jr., Jake, Jimmy, and Robert; his sisters: Jenny, Mary (Natcha), Stella, Rosie, Patsy, Margaret (Chata), Kathryn, and Patricia; his daughter, Juanita; 3 grandsons; and many nieces and nephews.
Bill is survived by his treasured wife, Shirley Mae Martinez; his children: Lee, Bill Jr. (Dawn), Carmen, Carol (Mike), Sam (Terra), Max (Jodie), Edith, William (Monica), and Rosemary; his sisters, Sally and Gloria; his brothers, Johnny and Joey; 27 grandchildren; 41 great-grandchildren; and 3 great-great grandchildren. While their world will never be the same, his legacy lives on as they all carry special memories and lessons taught by him.
Bill was brought up in Conejos, where he grew up surrounded by many family members. He was a playful child who enjoyed adventures with his siblings and cousins. While he was fun-loving, his character was shaped by his unmatched work ethic. That hard-working mentality developed beginning at the young age of nine years old when he became the cutest shoe-shine boy and paperboy. Next, he broadened his skillset working for the Broadmoor and Holiday Inn. While working for Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation, he attended Pikes Peak Community College and earned a certificate as a small engine mechanic. His repertoire of skills continued to grow and after retiring, he utilized his interpersonal and practical skills as a self-employed man.
As hard as he worked in his careers, he worked even harder to be the best human he could be. Those blessed by his presence gained confidence and energy from his compliments and heartwarming stories. He always made people feel special by dancing for them or singing them a song. His silly charades and Donald Duck voices lightened the mood and filled the room with laughter. He connected with others by preparing them the most delicious food that ultimately fed their souls. He always enjoyed exercise, even though those workouts evolved from jogging in the park with grandbabies to bouncing on his stability ball. He was a man that everybody could rely on-he showed up in the physical and emotional sense. He was always only a phone call away or at home and ready to welcome others with open arms.
Of all the roles Bill played, being a devoted husband and life partner was the most admirable. He loved Shirley unconditionally and would get tears in his eyes each time he spoke of his love and partnership with her. They shared many moments doing ordinary things, but being together was magic. He truly enjoyed the company of his wife and especially loved treating her to weekly joyrides, which often led to peanut delights from BJ Velvet Freeze. While he will be missed beyond measure, may all who knew him find peace knowing his love knew no bounds and his presence will continue to surround them on a daily basis. May this sweet angel love every second, minute, hour, bigger, better, (and) stronger in heaven above.
Funeral Services in honor of Bill are being held at 10:00AM, Wednesday, October 18, 2023, at the Shrine of Remembrance “America the Beautiful” Chapel, 1730 East Fountain Boulevard, Colorado Springs, CO 80910. A Graveside Service will follow at 12:00PM, at Evergreen Cemetery, 1005 Hancock Expressway, Colorado Springs, CO 80903.