Willis Martinez

Willis "Marty" Martinez

Marty Martinez, formerly of Medford, Ore., went to be with our Lord on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009.

He was born to Gabriel and Odessa Martinez in Springer, N.M. on May 31, 1928. He was raised in Pasadena, Calif., attended Pilgrim Bible School, Pasadena Academy and Pasadena Nazarene College. During college he worked for Market Basket Grocers, Inc., and continued his career there until joining the Kroger Company. He retired from Kroger in 1973 as produce merchandiser for their mid-west division. Returning to the west coast, he was manager of the Oregon Washington California Pear Bureau in Portland. In 1975, he moved to Medford as sales manager of Oregon Pear Sales, Inc. He retired from Associated Fruit Company in 2006.

In Medford he was a member of Table Rock Fellowship. Marty served as president on many fruit industry boards during his sales career, marketing pears grown in the Rogue Valley. In 1979, he was appointed by the governor to serve on the Oregon State Agriculture Board. An avid golfer, he was past president of the Rogue Valley Country Club and sponsored junior golf. He was loved and respected by friends and family.

During his younger years he played football, baseball, basketball and enjoyed bowling on company leagues. If there was a competitive sport being played, Marty was playing. He always said, "Nobody remembers who came in second". He always strived to be the best at whatever he did, and succeeded. He also volunteered in the Los Angeles County Youth Sports Program.

Marty was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Victor; sister, Pauline; infant son, Danny; his special friend, David Matson; and beloved son-in-law, Jim Evans. He is survived by his loving wife, Marilyn (Gilman) Martinez, of 26 years; and four daughters, Lisa Heenan, Diana Evans, Judy (husband, George) Ezquerro and Tami Martinez; and two sons, Randy (wife, Linda) Martinez and Scott (wife, Tammy) Martinez. He will also be missed by 15 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; four brothers, Jerry (wife, Carolyn), Gabe (wife, Vi), Preston (wife, Verna), Edward (wife, June) and; sister, Evelyn Hemann.

The funeral service for Marty will begin 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009 at Foothills Baptist Church, 10120 Issaquah- Hobart Rd SE, Issaquah WA 98027. Interment will follow at Upper Hillside Cemetery, Issaquah, Wash. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Marty's memory to Alzeihmer's Research Foundation. 12721 30th Ave NE Suite 101, Seattle, WA 98125 (800) 848-7097 ext. 228.

Friends are invited to view photos, share memories and sign the family's on-line guest book at www.flintofts.com. Arrangements by Flintofts Funeral Home 425-392-6444.

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