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Isabel Martinez

June 18, 1929 ~ July 30, 2022


Isabel Martinez was born to Santiago and Rosalia Gil on June 18, 1929, in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. She was the second-born daughter of eight children. Isabel had a close relationship with her grandparents who migrated here from the Canary Islands of Spain. Her grandparents donated part of their land to build the first and only Catholic Church Cemetery, Elementary and Middle School in the Arecibo town of Esperanza, which remains in existence. It is believed that the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, also known as The Observatory, which enables research in the areas of astronomy, planetary studies, space, and atmospheric sciences, was built on part of their donated land. Their radar reaches as far as the rings of Saturn.

As a child she attended Church Esperanza where she and her sisters were part of the choir. She was also an avid baseball player. Isabel was a very hardworking person. In her younger years, she helped her mother farm the land where they grew coffee beans, sugar cane, fruits, and vegetables. In her spare time on the farm, she rode horses and enjoying tending to them by going into town to get food and supplies for them.

Isabel moved to Philadelphia, PA around the early 1950’s where she found a long-lasting career in shoe making at the Edwards Shoe Factory on 12th and Vine St in downtown Philadelphia. This factory specialized in making orthopedic shoes for hospitals and schools. She began at the factory at a rate of $0.50 an hour which was raised to $1.00 an hour when President Kennedy came into office.

While in Philadelphia, she met her husband, Efrain Martinez, who specialized in furniture making and upholstery. Around 1959, the two were married and remained in Philadelphia to start a family of their own. They had four beautiful children; Jose, Hector, Raymond and Lillian. They remained in Philadelphia raising their children and continually made a better life for themselves. Efrain passed away in 1999 due to Colon Cancer. Isabel never remarried, but instead was a wonderful selfless caretaker to her mother Rosalia who lived to be 107 years old.

After Rosalia had passed in 2006, Isabel came to Fayetteville, NC to spend the rest of her days enjoying life by her daughter Lillian’s side and being surrounded by family and the many new friends she made in church. She enjoyed excellent physical and mental health throughout her 93 years of life and the circle of her loving family. She was a positive influence to all.

Isabel enjoyed gardening, cooking many different dishes, drinking coffee with cheese and crackers, sitting outside while hearing the birds chirping. She was an animal lover, loved going to church, loved reading the Bible, spending time with her family, enjoyed being around her grandchildren, was a fashionista who loved beautiful dresses, loved venturing out to different coffee shops and restaurants, going shopping with her daughter, going to the hair salon, and loved flowers (her favorite were roses).

Isabel is also preceded in death by her mother, Rosalia Gil; father, Santiago Gil; siblings, Manuel, Luz Elenia, Maria, Petra, and Edilia; sons, Ramond Martinez and Hector Martinez; and grandson, Hector (Reese) Martinez.

She is survived by her children, Lillian Colón and Jose Martinez; brother, Modesto; grandchildren, Angelique Colón, Miguel Colón, Priscilla Nance, Lillian Bolick, Talia Martinez, Ayana Martinez, and Christian Martinez; great grandchildren, Jacob Laboy, Elijah Bolick, and other great grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Funeral arrangements by Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home, 545 Ramsey St., Fayetteville, NC, 28301

Online condolences may be made at www.jerniganwarren.com

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Isabel Martinez, please visit our floral store.

obituary, Isabel Martinez