Tom Martinez

October 29, 1949 – November 5, 2019

On November 5, 2019, we lost our beloved father, husband, brother, son, grandfather, and friend, Thomas Armand Martinez. Born in San Diego in 1949, Tommy discovered a love of surfing early in life. He was University High School’s Class of 1967 valedictorian, and he went on to attend Dartmouth College for one year, where among other things he learned to downhill ski. He transferred to Stanford University, where he completed a BS in civil engineering and a master’s in construction management. A lifelong lover of music, he attended many concerts in California in the late 60s and early 70s, later regaling his children with stories of seeing such artists as James Brown, Janice Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix at venues like the Fillmore West. After graduate school, Tommy moved back to San Diego, where he got started working in the construction business, and met Emily Sue Allen. According to Tom, the best move he ever made was marrying Emily, to whom he remained married until his death. Together they had three daughters, though Tom often said he had wanted four. Early in their marriage, Emily and Tommy lived in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and they traveled around the region, including a visit to the Galapagos Islands with their infant daughter. In 1985, Tom launched a new business, Plateau Electrical Constructors, in Salt Lake City, and he and his family moved to Park City, Utah, where they lived for 11 years. They were active members of Saint Mary’s Catholic Parish and Tommy was a frequent participant in “skier’s mass” on Sunday evenings. In 1996, he moved his business to Seattle, and the family settled on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Tommy’s skiing, hiking, sailing, and traveling adventures are too numerous to list but a few highlights include: many powder days at Snowbird, sailing the Baja Ha-Ha, summiting Mount Shasta, climbing volcanos in Mexico, sailing from New Zealand to Tahiti, surfing breaks all over California, Mexico, and Hawaii, traversing the Grand Canyon with his eldest daughter, floating the Colorado River with his middle daughter, exploring the Everglades with his youngest daughter, completing England’s Coast to Coast Walk, hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc, and many long treks in some of his favorite mountain ranges including the Wind Rivers, Sawtooths, Olympics, Cascades, Uintahs, Alps, and especially his beloved Sierra Nevadas. He and Emily were living aboard their sailboat, Girl Four, when he began exhibiting symptoms of what was later diagnosed as Alzheimer’s Disease and ultimately, Lewy Body Dementia. He got his wish for four girls when his second, third and fourth granddaughters were born in late summer 2019. He met his newest granddaughters at his 70th birthday party, the week before he died. Tommy will be greeted in the next life by his mother Katharine Tulloch Martinez and nephew Evan Robertson. He leaves behind his devoted wife Emily, daughters Maile, Alana, and Kela, sons-in-law Mike, Ben, and Andrew, granddaughters Luz, Mercedes, Soledad, and Una, sister Linda, brother Mark, brother-in-law Marc, sister-in-law Elvie, father Marty, many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends from the Bainbridge Island, Park City, and sailing communities. Tommy and Emily were active with Seattle Parks’ Momentia program and thank that community for their support and friendship. We would like to thank Dr. Haleh Nekoorad-Long at Cascade Behavioral Hospital and the staff at Evergreen Adult Family Homes for the excellent care he received at the end of his life. Tommy and his family support the Alzheimer’s Foundation, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and the Surfrider Foundation, and we encourage donations to these causes in his memory. Celebrations of Tommy’s life will be held in the Seattle area and San Diego. His family invites you to remember Tommy with every epic hike, ski run, & wave.

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