Mr. John Martinez passed into the care of God’s arms February 14, 2020, at home in Green Bay, Wisconsin, nearly 4 years after his beloved wife, Betty. He was 90.
John, an only child, was born August 15, 1929, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Juan Antonio Ramos Martinez and Eloise Eleanor Conner. John’s father was originally from Tlaquepaque, Mexico and his mother from Ames, Iowa. They met when Juan traveled to Iowa for schooling during the Mexican Revolution.
As a child John grew up in Milwaukee and Brazil. In 1939 Juan died of malaria in Brazil and Eloise moved with John back to Iowa. In 1947, John graduated from high school in Mechanicsville and entered Iowa State University where, in 1951, he graduated with a BS in Industrial Economics. He then entered the Air Force and served until 1953.
While at Iowa State John roomed with an affable fellow named Tom Hill, who became his life-long best friend. During the Christmas holiday of 1950 Tom brought John home with him and introduced his sister, Betty. “As soon as I saw her, I knew she was the one for me!” John always said. And so it was: John and Betty were married in Low Moor, Iowa, on June 28, 1953. Tom was their Best Man.
In 1956 John took a job with IBM, selling typewriters door-to-door. He quickly rose through the ranks and was moved by the company to several states during his tenure. After retiring from a 25 year career with IBM, John and Betty returned and settled in Wisconsin, first in Gillett, and then in Green Bay. They became very active in the Masonic Lodge and Shriners International as well as other charitable causes such as the Gillett Public Library.
At the time the only opportunity for practicing Shriners was to travel to Milwaukee. Working with other local members, John helped to establish a new Shrine in Green Bay called Beja. In 1987, he became its second potentate. In this position John oversaw the building of a solid foundation for the charitable organization which has funded the Shriners Hospital for Children, and donated millions of dollars to charity. Beja Shrine is still going strong.
John is survived by their only child, Julie A. Martinez who is married to Jon Kramer. They live in Minneapolis and California.
John was preceded in death by his wife Betty in 2016. John and Betty were married for 64 years.
A family Masonic and Graveside Service with Military Rites will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday at Rose Hill Cemetery, Camanche. Please join us at http://facebook.com/schultzfuneralhomes/live/.
Memorial gifts in honor of both John and Betty can be sent to Shriners Hospitals for Children, Office of Development, 2900 Rocky Point Dr., Tampa, Florida 33607. (800) 241-4438 www.shrinershopsitalsforchildren.org.
Condolences may be expressed at www.schultzfuneralhomes.com.
Arrangements are in the care of Pfotenhauer Funeral Home, Green Bay and Schultz Funeral Home, DeWitt.
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