Freddie Martinez, 84, of Cimarron was called home Friday (March 31). He joined his beloved wife, Virginia Eva “Jean” (Sanchez) Martinez, who went home to our Lord on August 21, 2011.
Born on April 14, 1932, in Cimarron, Freddie was the son of Federico Martinez and Senaida Cortez, both of Cimarron.
Freddie was the quintessential cowboy – having started his career as a ranch hand at the age of 12; he spent most of his life on a horse, getting to know every mile of the WS Ranch (Vermejo Park Ranch) in northeastern New Mexico. He worked his way up the career ladder, first under the leadership of W.J. Gourley, then Pennzoil, before he finally retired in 1994 after 30 years as the Cattle Foreman, just prior to Ted Turner’s purchase of the Ranch.
Freddie was well known for his deep knowledge of the WS Ranch land and its history. He had hundreds of fascinating stories about everything related to the great outdoors and would gladly share his knowledge with any willing audience. He loved his work and he cared deeply for the animals he was entrusted to protect, often braving weather unfit for travel just to save a newborn calf. He was an expert bronc rider and calf roper who had the skill to join the professional circuit if he’d chosen, but he retired from bronc riding in 1952 after he had won every award possible in Colfax and surrounding counties. He was a charismatic and friendly person who showed genuine kindness and compassion to everyone he met. Freddie will be greatly missed by his many friends.
Freddie married the love of his life, Jean, on February 7, 1950. They shared 61 years of marriage prior to her passing. They proudly raised five children together and instilled in them the hard-work ethic and traditions of ranch life. They were both members of the Immaculate Conception Catholic parish in Cimarron. Freddie was a member of the Knights of Columbus, and was elected the July 4th Maverick Rodeo Grand Marshall in 2010.
Freddie was also reunited in Heaven with his grandson, his parents, and siblings. He will be missed by his loving children: Mario Martinez and wife, Bella, of Cimarron; Albert Martinez and wife, Sandy of Albuquerque; Joey Martinez and wife, Susan of Moriarty; Rebecca Horstman and husband, Irvin of Cimarron; and Victor Martinez, and wife Natalie of Paguate. Freddie was loved unconditionally by his 10 grandchildren: Marlisa, Melanie, Monica, Megan, Michael, Shana, Joseph, Benjamin, Christina, and Aidan (deceased); and his 19 great-grandchildren: Desirae, Samuel, Felina, Hunter, Trapper, Montana, Aaron, Sophia, Sabina, Aspen, Kaleb, Liam, Kingston, Hope, Faith, Joyce, Layla, Cora, and Twila; he also was blessed with two great-great-grandchildren: Cadence and Dmitri. Freddie is also survived by his sister Eleanor Merrit of Los Lunas; and sisters-in-law Mary Martinez and Flora Sanchez, both of Cimarron.
A rosary will be recited for Freddie at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 9:30 a.m., followed by a mass celebrating Freddie’s life journey at 10:00 a.m. Rev. Emmanuel Izuka will officiate. Interment will be at Mountain View Cemetery in Cimarron following the mass.