Eddie Martinez

Obituary of Eddie Ray Martinez

Our beloved father, “Papa,” brother, uncle, and friend, Eddie Ray Martinez, passed away suddenly but peacefully in his home on January 18th, 2022 at 60 years old.  We take comfort in knowing he entered eternal rest with Jesus and is reunited with his wife Linda Martinez who passed away exactly one year and ten days prior.

Eddie was born on April 5th, 1961 in McNary, Arizona, which is part of the Apache Nation. He was the eighth of thirteen children, being born a few minutes before his fraternal twin, Irene. He was born to Frank and Helen (Montes) Martinez of Silver City, New Mexico. His parents spoke minimal English but, common to many in their generation, were proud to assimilate.

Eddie’s life was rooted in hard work.  At age four, Eddie’s precocious business efforts were evident as he out hustled his siblings’ selling tamales on the streets. Later, he attended Blue Ridge High School but never graduated. Instead, at the age of fourteen, he pursued a vocational education with Ted Storms Tire’s, whotook him under his wing like a son. Eddie possessed a knack for working with his hands and the dedication and loyalty to succeed in business.  He quickly developed into a local and nationally recognized salesman with a loyal customer base. 

He married Victoria (Fuller) Renner in 1981 in Show-Low, Arizona while they were pregnant with their first child, Kristi. Their second child, Jacqueline, was born in 1984 and after having grown apart, they divorced in 1986. “Fast Eddie” as he was nicknamed, remained in the Pinetop-Lakeside area, working in sales and as a mechanic at Ted Storms Tire’s. He loved racing his 1969 Roadrunner, arm wrestling, team roping, and chasing girls. He was proud of his full head of hair, a self-proclaimed jokester, and a terrible dancer but had a magnetic personality.  The chase abruptly stopped in 1987 when he met the love of his life Linda (Jung) Martinez. They married in Lakeside, AZ in 1989.  Eddie seized the opportunity to open up a Big-O-Tires station in Cottonwood, AZ in 1990.  As the business grew, he bought a plot of land and subsequently built a beautiful home designed by Linda up on the mountain. Cottonwood has been their home for the last 31 years.

In 1990 and 1991 they were blessed with two beautiful children of their own, Amanda and Nichole.  The family and businesses grew together.  Joining with his brother Phil Martinez, they have developed three successful family-owned and operated Big-O-Tires franchises.  Every daughter and most of their husbandsalong with many nieces, nephews and cousins have learned valuable lessons working in the shop over the years.  Eddie’s son-in-law, Chris Ogden, currently runs the shop in Cottonwood.  The core Martinez family values rooted in family, hard work, loyalty, and customer serviceis evident through the blood, sweat, and tears shed in this station over the last 30+ years. This station and the value system it was built upon and carried on by his family, is Eddie’s legacy.

In his later years, Eddie loved to scout and hunt. He loved talking to customers about their livesand bragging about his daughters. He was stern, authoritative, stubborn, and fiercely loyal. His favorite place was with Linda, on the side of his mountain at his dream home surrounded by grandchildren and extended family embracing the chaos of a family dinner. He loved fiercely and he loved wholly. 

The loss of his wife Linda after her five-year battle with ovarian cancer in January 2021 was absolutely devastating. Their love for each other was profound and all-encompassing. The void in his heart was evident.  The sadness of those he left behind is comforted by the thought of the huge smile he must have had as he reunites with Linda and looks down upon us all as the Martinez legacy continues.

His beautiful life will forever be cherished in his surviving family: daughters Drs. Kristi (Erik) Hustak of Friendswood, TX; Jacqueline (Charlie) Judd of Friendswood, TX;  Amanda(Jeremy) Phillips of Cottonwood, AZ, and Nichole (Chris) Ogden of Clarkdale, AZ; siblings Mary (Barry) Cason of Farmington, NM, Pablo Martinez of Crookston, MN, Francis Odom of Showlow, AZ, Patsy (Gary) Hamilton of Lakeside, AZ, Mikey (Deanna) Martinez of Lakeside, AZ, Irene (Scott) Hooley of Pinetop, AZ, Alfonso Martinez of Newmarket, VA, and Phil (Denise) Martinez of Clarkdale, AZ; grandchildren Trenton Hustak, Kaidynce Phillips, Tatum Hustak, Kaleb Phillips, Ryland Ogden, Waylon Ogden, Hazel Hustak, Raegan Rose Phillips, Presley Ogden, Maylah Lindy Ogden and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends that were like family. 

He is preceded in death by his wife, Linda Martinez, siblings Tony, Manuel, Virginia, and baby Pablo Martinez, parents Frank and Helen Martinez, and brother-in-law Tim Allerdings. 

An open celebration of a life well lived will be held on Saturday February 12th, 2022 from 12-4pm at his Cottonwood Big-O-Tires shop, following his cremation. 

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