A lifelong resident of Archuleta County, Clarita (Valdez) Martinez, 95 years old, passed away surrounded by family on Sept. 22.
She was born and raised at Coyote Park, Colo., on March 6, 1926, to Jose Valdez and Maria Elena (Sanchez) Valdez. She enjoyed the outdoors and riding her horse.
In 1946, Clara met Abel, the love of her life. They were married Oct. 18,1948, in Pagosa Springs, and together they built the family home located on 8th Street where they raised their six children. She was a member of the Immaculate Heart of Mary church for many years.
Clara was the best homemaker, always in the kitchen making the family’s favorite meals. Later, when her kids were grown, she took on a part-time job where she enjoyed working with the ladies at Jan’s Cafe and Al’s West. She often spoke about how much fun she and her co-workers had.
After Abel retired, they enjoyed camping with friends and relatives in Mancos, Colo., and at Williams Lake. She also enjoyed going to the ranch in Edith, where she and Abel planted a garden and did a lot of canning. When Abel’s health declined and they couldn’t go to the ranch or camping as often, you could often see the two of them enjoying a warm sunny day out on their front porch.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Abel, of 61 years; her parents; and six brothers, Pres, Fedelino, Joe A., Mave, Ruben, Speedion; and one sister, Jenny Martinez (Celestino). She will be greatly missed by her surviving six children: Ray Martinez, of Pagosa Springs; Abel Martinez (Elaine), of Pueblo; Arnold Martinez, of San Diego, Calif.; Walter Martinez, of Pagosa Springs; Priscilla Robison (Mark), of Bloomfield, N.M.; and Meliza Lane (John), of Broomfield, Colo.
She had eight grandchildren: Lynette Manzanares (Vicente), Candida Bennett (Mike), Matthew Martinez (Jessica), Alan Martinez (Jenny), Christopher Jaramillo, Michaela Martinez (Darrell), Britni Lane, Dalton Lane. Eight great-grandchildren: Meghan Hutcherson (Colton), Dylan Manzanares, Kate Bennett, Sarah Bennett, Aden Martinez, Peyton Martinez, Dominic Martinez and Olivia Martinez. One great-great grandchild, Violet Hutcherson.
A funeral service was held at Pope John Paul ll Catholic Church and she was laid to rest next to Abel at Hill Top Cemetery on Monday, Sept. 27.