Juan “Marty” Martinez of Huntsville, Alabama passed away on Wednesday, February 2, 2022, at the age of 86 years old. Marty was proud to say “I was born and raised in Alamosa, Colorado” and lived there until he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served 22 years active duty, traveling the world to serve his country, including one year in Vietnam. Reaching the rank of SFC “Sergeant First Class,” he was admitted into the the elite 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) Green Berets, in November 1963 while stationed with his young family in Okinawa. He also served in South Korea and saw action in the Dominican Republic, and eventually earned the prestigious Meritorious Service Medal, among other awards. Marty was very proud of his military accomplishments. After retiring from active duty, he went on to work for the U.S. Federal Government at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey and later transferred to the Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama.
Marty enjoyed fishing, traveling the country back to his home state of Colorado and developed a passion for rocks and gems. He became an avid “rockhound.” He learned many facets about rocks and gems, including developing a skill to cut and polish rocks, turning them into jewelry and keepsakes. Part of the Gem and Mineral Society at Huntsville Senior Center, he traveled to various parts of the country collecting rocks and turning them into beautiful pieces.
Survived by his companion of 33 years, Cheryl Metz, along with his 4 children, Myla Martinez, David Martinez, Anna Mulligan & Anthony Martinez. His beautiful family included 7 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. Sister Juanita Melgares, cousins and several nieces & nephews still reside in Colorado. Additionally, a stepdaughter, Kelly Turner and her family. Marty was preceded in death by his parents, Luisa and Sieffredo “Fred,” and his sister Geraldine “Gerry” Thompson.
Marty will be interred at the Alamosa Cemetery with a military service in a family ceremony.