Gilbert B. “Balu” Martinez, 85, died August 5, 2021 at his daughter’s home in Tucson, Arizona.
Mr. Martinez was born July 17, 1936 in Buckeye, Arizona to Julio and Refugia (Barrera) Martinez.
His family moved to Ajo in 1938. He called Ajo his home for the rest of his life. He graduated from Ajo High School and entered the work force after.
He married the love of his life Mary De la Torre on September 28, 1963. They were married in Ajo.
Mr. Martinez worked as a truck driver for Phelps Dodge in Ajo when the mine was in operation. He also worked as a trade helper for the Salt River Project in Phoenix. He was retired in 1998.
He was a member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Ajo.
Mr. Martinez enjoyed watching football. He was an avid U of A Wildcats and Raiders fan. He enjoyed planting and tending to his chile plants. He is most remembered as a loving man very dedicated to his family. His favorite thing to do was to spend time with his family.
Mr. Martinez was preceded in death by his parents; by his brothers Edward “Lalo” Martinez and Miguel Martinez; by his sisters Maria Bon and Ramona “Mona” Martinez; and by his grandmother Felicitas Espinoza.
He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Mary Martinez of Ajo; by his sons and daughters-in-law Ray & Lupe Martinez of Phoenix, and Julian and Vicky Martinez also of Phoenix; by his daughters and son-in-law Rebecca Martinez & Cesar Varela of Tucson and Anna Martinez of Tucson; and by two grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.
Services for Mr. Martinez will take place in Ajo on Saturday, August 21, 2021. Rosary will be recited at 8:00am followed by visitation at 8:30am at Douglass Funeral Home. Funeral Mass will be at 10:00am at Immaculate Conception Church. Graveside service will follow at Ajo Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Casa De La Luz Foundation – 5049 E. Broadway Tucson, AZ 85711.