Eva Martinez


Born Dec. 22, 1930, Eva passes into God’s hands on May 4.

She asked for her Rosary, it was perhaps the last intelligible words she uttered. She was nothing if she was not a Catholic woman of strong faith. As she made the peaceful transition just before sunrise on May 4, Eva Martinez was in the hands of her loved ones and passed to be with God and her beloved soul mate of 65 years, Amadeo (Andy) who had passed just eight months prior. A Rosary will be held at the Immaculate Heart of Mary church Thursday, May 11, at 6:30 p.m., followed by a reception and celebration of her life in the parish hall. The following day, a Catholic Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. at the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The burial will take place at Hilltop Cemetery, followed by a lunch at the parish hall.

A lifelong resident of Pagosa Springs, Eva was born to Jose L. Espinosa and Clarita O’Cana-Espinosa on Dec. 22, 1930. Her father was born in Arboles, Colo., in 1887, and her mother was born in El Rito, N.M., also in 1887. They first settled in “Encinosa” (Burns Canyon), moved into town where he worked as a carpenter/laborer, and she, a homemaker who had eight children. Jose worked at the light plant in Pagosa Springs from 1923 to 1946, where Eva was born.

Eva prayed daily for many, amongst them were those that preceded her such as her parents and husband. She was also preceded by her in-laws, Lucas and Maria Martinez, and her brothers and sisters: Pablita and Juan Martinez, Jose and Lula Espinosa, Abel and Lela Espinosa, Louie and Donna Espinosa, Trudy Espinosa, Daryl and Lucia Staner, Cesario Espinosa, Santiago Espinosa and the infant Cesarito Espinosa, Corina and Porfirio Martinez (who were also her Padrinos), Juanita and Lazaro Salazar, Manuel Martinez, Rupert Martinez, Clara Martinez, Lily Martinez and Mary Ann Martinez. Included in her daily prayers were the souls of all the departed she could recall. This included her numerous uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces.

Her daily prayers for those that preceded her was a net that was cast very broadly. She prayed for all that were involved in building the Immaculate Heart of Mary parish and what has become the local Catholic family. For 71 years, she was a member of the Fatima Society. She will be buried one day before the 100-year celebration of Our Lady of Fatima. She was active with the Guadalupanas, the Carmelitas and the Alter Society and prayed for members past and present.

She prayed daily for her neighbors, especially those who had departed. She prayed daily for those who were traveling and those who had lost their lives on the road. She prayed daily for those suffering from poverty and addiction, especially those in our own neighborhood, unseen by most and who had died in loneliness. She prayed for those who were victims of injustice in life in matters small and large. And she prayed for the unborn, clearly they had preceded her.

Those neighbors, friends and family who succeeded her were attracted to her nonjudgmental and spiritual nature. She knew her own tendencies to see the downside of things, but she wished nothing but the best for those close to her.

Her family and their children/grandchildren succeed her: Leonard (Kindy) Martinez; James (Edna) Martinez; and Vindred (Wendell) Qualls; grandchildren Alba Palmira (Marlon Oaks) and son Kaidence, from Baltimore, Md., Laila Estrella Martinez from Albuquerque N.M., and Jose Martinez, from Albuquerque, N.M., Alyssa (Fernando Trujillo) and sons Anthony and DeAngelo, from Phoenix, Ariz., Mia Valencia, from Albuquerque, N.M., Tristan and Spencer Martinez, from Durango, Colo., and Mallorie Godbold, from Ignacio, Colo. Her brothers and sisters: Lydia Martinez, Benino Martinez, Moises and Clara Martinez, Sadie Martinez, Wilford Martinez, Dolores and Tomas Perez, Lucas Martinez, Celestino and Juanita Martinez. As adoption ran in the family, she figuratively adopted Gabriel and Barbara Hendricks, Pat and Dave Libhart and Lucas Martinez (the cousin) and Margarita Espinosa as her own. She has numerous nephews and nieces that succeed her from the O’Cana, the Espinosa, the Archuleta and the Martinez families.

As a lifelong resident, she also worked in several places and supported local causes. Her first job was at the Jackisch Drugstore. She graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in 1950. She also worked at the Gambles store, which has recently been torn down, as have many of the buildings she knew as a young woman. Many labored to build the Immaculate Heart of Mary church as did she, sometimes collecting nickels and dimes, other times doing the physical labor required. It was completed, consecrated and staffed in 1951 and she and Amadeo were the second couple married in the new church on April 2, 1951. The paint was hardly dry on the newest Catholic field unit at that time.

Eva was a homemaker first and foremost. She supported Andy in his 35-year career as a barber in Archuleta and La Plata counties. She worked seasonally supporting the election process as a volunteer and was as a lifelong Democrat. She also worked in the school kitchens for many years. No task was insignificant, but cleanliness was really her forte. She supported education, however, she loved sports and would listen to every Pagosa Pirate game on the radio. She would follow Tristan’s wrestling matches, always at a distance … “call me with the results.” Same thing with her beloved Broncos, “I’ll listen to the game but I can’t watch them …” She did approve of the recent signing of Jamal Charles.

In her final hours and days, although afflicted with painful cancer that had spread, she was laughing and smiling. She enjoyed a meaningful Lent and a joyous Easter season preparing herself to meet God. She loved her garden and flowers, so they will be planted in her honor this year. She looked out her window hoping 8th Street might get completed, but alas, she will have to oversee this project from above.

It will be hard not to find yourself amongst those she prayed for. Pray for her now as we are sure she will continue to pray for you. Rest in peace, our dearest mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, neighbor, friend.

She loved flowers and flower arrangements are fine, but she loved her church even more. For a longer lasting impact in lieu of flowers, donations can be made for the preservation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.