Reynaldo “Ray” Martinez, age 62, of Tyler, Minnesota died on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. Visitation will be held on Monday, February 22, 2021, from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM at the Hartquist Funeral Home – Tyler Chapel. A funeral service will follow at 1:30 PM. Per MN Executive Order, social distancing and mask wearing is required. Occupancy limits will be observed. Burial will occur at a later date at Coal Mine Cemetery in Lytle, Texas. Arrangements have been entrusted to Hartquist Funeral Home in Tyler, Minnesota and Hurtley Funeral Home in Lytle, Texas.
Reynaldo “Ray” Martinez of Tyler, Minnesota, fisherman, expert gardener, father, uncle, grandpa, friend, and stoic man of few words with a sense of humor, died on his 62nd birthday, peacefully at home on his daughter’s farm surrounded by people who loved him dearly on February 16, 2021, after a short fight with pancreatic cancer.
Ray was born February 16,1959, to Thomas and Santos (Guzman) Martinez in Hondo, Texas. He grew up in Coal Mine, Texas, a small settlement outside of Lytle, Texas where his family still resides. He was baptized at Saint Andrews Catholic Church in Lytle. When his father passed away when Ray was only 14; he went to work to help take care of his mother, and he kept that hard working, family-oriented attitude for the rest of his life. It wasn’t unusual for him to hold multiple jobs at one time, but his favorites were working for Lytle Feed and Seed for many years, and he also worked with his brothers-in-law laying steel for buildings and bridges throughout the Midwest and in Texas. Ray married Debra (Santana) Martinez of San Antonio, Texas on December 28, 1981, and they had two daughters, Christie and Sirrina. The family lived in Coal Mine until 1989, when they moved to Tyler, Minnesota. Ray fell in love with the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” and decided the fishing was worth the harsh Minnesota winters. Eventually, he left steel laying behind and went to work for the processing plant formerly known as Heartland Foods in Marshall. Ray worked there for many years and made many good friends along the way. Ray was fortunate enough to spend the last years of his life wintering in Texas with his family, returning home in the Spring when it was time to start his garden. Neighbors would know when he was gone, because his yard would be a little less kept by his daughters who would ask the neighbors not to tell their dad that it wasn’t mowed or weeded as often. Ray took pride in a well-maintained yard and home, and in the fruits of his labor in the garden. In addition to his passion for growing his own vegetables and selling them in downtown Tyler, Ray loved fishing, and could be found at any lake in Southwest Minnesota. He also enjoyed going to one of the three area casinos that his truck would drive to on autopilot. Above all, Ray loved spending time with his daughters, son-in-law, and his four grandsons who were the joy of his life. Ray was loved and respected by many, and will forever be remembered as a hardworking, honest, and kind man.
Ray is lovingly remembered by his daughter and son-in-law, Christie and Matt Wieme of Balaton, Minnesota; his grandsons, Miles, Ethan, Isaac and Liam Wieme of Balaton, Minnesota; his daughter, Sirrina Martinez of Lake Benton, Minnesota; his step-son, Lawrence Segovia of San Antonio; his good friend Andres Cavazos, of Luverne, Minnesota; his niece and nephew, Lucinda Peterson and John Santana of Luverne; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins in the Lytle region; and his brothers- and sisters-in-law in Nebraska and Texas. He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Santos Martinez; his brothers, Octavio, Valdemar, and Thomas Martinez; sister, Dora Gloria Martinez; his wife, Debra Martinez Santana; and sister-in-law, Dena Santana.