Weslaco, TX -- Cleofas Martinez, 87, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and faithful friend, entered eternal rest on Monday, August 10, 2020, in Harlingen at Valley Baptist Medical Center. Mr. Martinez is survived by his wife, Maria Espinoza Martinez, his children, Olivia Molina (Gabriel), Fernando Martinez (Norma), Cleo Martinez (Evey), Armando Martinez (Anna); his grandchildren, Ellie Fraire (Frank), Eric Martinez (Kim), Jason Martinez (Verna), Emmanuel and Mariana Martinez, Armando Martinez, Jr; Amanda Garcia (Jose), Arianna Martinez; and eight great-grandchildren, Hannah and Rachel (Ellie & Frank), Kaley and Emma (Eric & Kim), Maegan, Lindsay, Jason, Jr. and Sarah Grace (Jason & Verna). He is also survived by two brothers -- Alfredo Martinez of Weslaco and Jose Martinez of Reedley, California, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. His family will dearly miss him.
Dad was a lover of many things: his family, pork chops, TV Westerns, Cantinflas movies, the comedy of Red Skelton, music – especially boleros, Wal-Mart chocolate chip cookies in the $5 box, ham, beef jerky, jokes, and telling stories about his brother-in-law, “Betitis” Jaramillo. He was a tough and dedicated servant, whether working for Vern and Cliff Hagen Farms in Minnesota, Gulf Distributive and McManus Produce in Weslaco, Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers in Santa Rosa, or maintaining the best yard in his neighborhood on Torritos St. in Weslaco. He was a jack-of-all-trades, constantly coming to our rescue to fix cars or appliances or helping us through financial decisions, boarding up windows during hurricane season, or cooking a ham for Thanksgiving, and always -- almost daily -- demanding that we go to sleep early to be well-rested. Well, now it is your turn to rest in good peace, gentle father; be assured that you have left an indelible mark upon many hearts. His influence reverberates beyond what he could ever imagine, for Dad taught us valuable lessons about dealing with people, insisting that we always preserve another’s dignity or joy. In a world where the focus is always on asserting yourself over others, Dad taught us to do otherwise. He would say, “If someone begins to tell you a story or experience that he’s told you before, allow him or her to say it again as though it is the first time. It doesn’t cost you anything to listen again, and you’ve preserved the other person’s joy or need to express.” If someone asked, “Did I tell you about this or did I already mention the other?” Dad instructed us to say, “No,” or “You started to tell me, but you didn’t finish,” simply to give the other person the opportunity to express again the concern, observation, or sentiment. He taught us to embrace empathy even in the smallest or seemingly insignificant conversations we have throughout any given day. Dad certainly knew How to Win Friends and Influence People; yet, I was always amazed how my father -- who never learned to read – possessed, practiced, and professed the wisdom of truly respecting and loving others. He truly made a difference. There are people who will fill the history books with what they have accomplished. There will be people celebrated -- people acknowledged for making their marks on the world. And so, it is fitting that we should celebrate husband, father, grandfather, and faithful friend, Cleofas Martinez. He taught that each one of us has the power to change our world, regardless of upbringing. He said that anyone may find an excuse for being bad, dishonest, greedy, jealous, or bitter; or we can decide to be examples of peace, hope, joy, goodness, kindness, empathy, sympathy, selflessness, gentleness, and faithfulness. His lessons transcend the generations in our family and our circle of friends, and the legacy that he leaves is one of laughter, peace, compassion, and love. Until we meet again, my father. You have fought the good fight; you have finished the race; and you have kept the faith. You will forever live in our memories and in our hearts. “Good night, sweet prince, / And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
For the safety concerns of family and friends, the immediate family has requested private services and asks that on-going prayers for strength, peace, comfort, hope, and healing be offered in lieu of flowers. Arrangements are under the direction of Guerra Funeral Home of Weslaco, Inc., 2602 N. Texas Ave., Weslaco, TX (956) 969-1461.
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