Surrounded by the warmth of a loving family, Theodore “Ted” Martinez passed peacefully from this Earth on Oct. 8, in Pahrump, Nev. Ted was the fifth of the 12 Martinez children. He was preceded in death by his father, Francisco Martinez, his mother, Ramona Avitia-Martinez as well as three brothers, Louis Martinez, Rocky Martinez, Ruben Martinez and a sister, Victoria Delgado.

Ted is survived by his wife of 48 years, Angie (Najera) Martinez, and their four children: Antonia Martinez of Pahrump, Nev.; Paula Martinez-Wiggins of Nipomo; Christine Martinez of Arlee, Mont.; Vincent (Dariah) Martinez of Solvang; and a son, Peter Martinez, of Burbank.

Ted leaves warm memories in the hearts of his grandchildren, Kourey Mendek, Madelline and Cassandra Wiggins, Mason and Daven Martinez and a great-grandson, Timmy Fisher. In addition, Ted is dearly missed by four surviving brothers; Cesar Martinez, Raymond Martinez, Victor Martinez and Steve Martinez, and three sisters: Anita Perez, Flora Luna and Irene Valencia. Numerous brothers- and sisters-in-law as well as nieces and nephews also grieve his passing.


Born in Missouri, Ted’s family relocated to the Goleta area in the early 1940s. He attended Santa Barbara-area parochial schools as well as Santa Barbara High School.

Ted served in the United States Army. He received basic training at Fort Sill, Okla. and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. He was honorably discharged in 1957.

Ted also received an associate’s degree through Alan Hancock College. He was a longtime Santa Ynez Valley resident and raised his family here.

A lover of country music, old, classic horror films and a great story, Ted touched more lives than he could have imagined. Known and remembered for his amazing innate musical ability, Ted loved to play the guitar. He mastered a difficult “finger-picking” style, which would regularly impress a casual listener as well as a knowledgeable musician.

He also loved the stand-up bass and electric bass. Along with his brothers and other local musicians, Ted loved to provide entertainment around the area for family as well as the public.


Never one to avoid hard work, Ted worked for a time on a water drill rig, working around the Valley. He also worked at Solvang School District, College School District and Vista De Las Cruces School District.

In 1997, the campus administration at Vista De Las Cruces School named their auditorium in his honor, based on his contributions to their campus, community and students.

In his later years, Ted was known by many locals for welding his handmade barbecue pits and for perfecting a delicious tri-tip recipe.

A pot luck memorial will be held in Ted’s honor 4 to 6 p.m., Nov. 12 at Santa Ynez Elementary School gymnasium, 3325 Pine Street, in Santa Ynez. For information contact Vincent Martinez at (805) 686-0807.