A celebration of the life of Manuel Martinez, 90, of Portales, will be held at 1:00 PM, Monday, November 22, 2021 at the First United Methodist Church with Rev. Damon Stalvey officiating. All of his grandchildren have been named as honorary pallbearers.
Manuel Louis Martinez, known to everyone as Marty, was born December 4, 1930, in Canadian, TX to the home of Frances Lee Ann (Briggs) and Manuel Silva Martinez. He passed from this life on November 8, 2021, surrounded by his loving family. Marty graduated from Canadian High School in the spring of 1948, but went back for another semester to play football. He finished school in December of that year.
Marty went on to study at Southwestern Oklahoma College working toward a degree in pharmacy. However, in 1951, he interrupted his studies to join the US Navy, where he served as a Hospital Corpsman (Medic). During basic training in San Diego, he played quarterback on the Naval base football team. In 1952-1953 he was attached to a Marine Corps unit, and served in Korea. After his discharge, Marty returned to college and completed his pharmaceutical degree in 1957.
Following his graduation, he was employed as the hospital pharmacist in Friona, TX, where he remained until 1965. From 1965 until 1967, he owned and operated a pharmacy in Yuma, AZ. He then sold the business and returned to Friona where he served as Hospital Administrator. Marty loved the game of golf, and in 1960, he helped build the Friona Country Club and was a charter member. In addition to their membership dues, each member was responsible for the upkeep of a specific hole on the course for two years. He maintained his membership in the Friona Country club until it closed in 2014.
In 1972, he resigned his position at the hospital and moved to Portales, where he owned Marty’s Pharmacy until 1999. After that, Marty continued to serve the community as a pharmacist by filling in at C.J.’s Pharmacy and also at a pharmacy in Muleshoe. He was very proud of the fact that he was appointed by the governor to serve on the New Mexico State Board of Pharmacists, and served from 1985 until 1990. Marty was licensed in four states: Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico.
In November of 1952, Marty married Virginia Spangler in Las Vegas, NV. They had three daughters together. Virginia preceded him in death in 1976. In 1977, Marty married Wanda Davidson and gained a son and two daughters. Marty and Wanda enjoyed traveling and visited all 50 states, as well as parts of Canada, South America and Europe.
Marty joined Portales Country Club as soon as he arrived in town and played golf every day that he possibly could until as recently as a month before his death. During those years he served two terms on the P.C.C Board.
Marty was very outgoing and friendly. He served for many years as the official greeter for the Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner sponsored by the Methodist Church, where he and Wanda were active members. In fact, the last meal that he ate was one of those turkey dinners. Marty was a devoted family man and loved family gatherings. He also enjoyed watching his grandchildren play in their sporting events. He was a beloved husband, Dad, Papa, and great Papa to his family. He will be greatly missed.
Marty is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Nancy and John Lees of Peoria, AZ, Peggy and Joe Martin of Bulverde, TX, Connie and Orville Harris of Fort Worth, TX, Cindi Davidson of Lubbock, TX, Debby and Greg Nygren of Portales, son Mike Davidson and Carol Hazel of Portales. He also leaves behind ten grandchildren: Matt (Emily) Lees, Josh (Lauryn) Martin, Ryan Martin, Tawnie Harris, Calvin (Starr) Harris, Paul (Amanda) Harris, Dustin (Amber) Davidson, Parker (Tara) Davidson, David (Ashlee) Owens and Alex Owens; twelve great-grandchildren; and a brother and sister-in-law, Tim and Bette Martinez of Portales. He was preceded in death by his wife Wanda, parents, a brother and sister-in-law, David and Norma Martinez, a sister, Glenda Howell, and a grandson, Jordan Lees.
Those desiring to make memorial contributions may send them to either the New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home, P O Box 629, Portales, NM 88130 or the New Mexico Christian Children’s Home, 1356 NM 236, Portales, NM 88130.