On September 12, 2023, Gary James Martinez of North Dinwiddie, VA, passed on.
He was born April 4, 1954 in Valley Forge, PA, to the late Elias “Marty” and Pauline Campbell Martinez. As an Army brat, he traveled to France, Germany, and many places in the United States. Of all the places he lived, Germany was his favorite, and he spoke of his memories there fondly and often.
Eventually, the family settled in Petersburg, VA. In his youth, he was active in the Boy Scouts and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. He worked with the Boy Scouts and his daughter’s Girl Scout troop for many years.
It was in his teen years that he found his lifelong passion for working as an EMT and Firefighter when he began volunteering with Southside Virginia Emergency Crew. He later became a Lifetime Member of Namozine Fire Department, working beside his daughter, Emily, and serving the department as Assistant Chief and Chaplain.
After graduating from Petersburg High School, he attended Petersburg General Lab Technician School and began working at Petersburg General, later called Southside Regional Medical Center. He later continued his education and transferred to the computer department. He retired from the hospital after 47 years of service.
In 1977, he married Cheryl Ann Prince. He was a very active volunteer at Northside and Rohoic Elementary Schools, where he founded the Young Astronauts Program and coached Odessey of the Mind teams.
Gary was a lifelong servant of Christ. In his youth, he served as an alter boy in the Catholic Church around the world. As an adult, he joined Ocran United Methodist Church, where he became a Layspeaker and went on many mission trips with the youth.
He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Cheryl Ann Prince Martinez; his devoted daughters, Elizabeth Martinez and her husband, Anthony Wyatt, and Emily Martinez and her partner, Tyler Perkinson; his sisters, Elizabeth “Betty” Brooks and her husband, Allie, and Donna Martinez; his brothers, David and John Martinez; grandson, Owen Wyatt, as well as several nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. And his trusty pet companion, Elvis.
The family would like to express their gratitude to the multiple caregivers who assisted in Gary’s care as well as Crater Community Hospice for their compassionate support.
A funeral service will be conducted at 3:00 p.m. Friday, September 15, 2023 at Ocran United Methodist Church, 20221 Cox Road, Sutherland, VA 23885. Interment with Fire Department Honors will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends Thursday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. also at Ocran.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ocran United Methodist Church Youth Department, P.O. Box 309, Sutherland, VA 23885 or Namozine Fire & EMS, 3913 Pelham Avenue, N. Dinwiddie, VA 23803.
Arrangements are by Williams Funeral Home & Crematory of Lawrenceville, VA. Condolences may be expressed at www.williamsfuneralhomeva.com.