Carolyn Martinez

Obituary of Carolyn Ann Martinez

Martinez, Carolyn Ann, 77, of Tucson, Arizona, passed on October 12, 2021. She will be forever loved and missed by her husband, Jose, their four children, Kim, Pat, Danny, Angie, and by her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Carol was born on February 14, 1944 in Sumter, S.C. into a military family that included her father, John, her mother, Olive, and her beloved siblings, Judy and Mike. Their military service led them abroad to France and Panama along with other duty stations in the U.S.

Carol met her husband, Jose, in Sumter, S.C., when he was serving in the United States Air Force at Shaw Air Force base. In their over 50 years of marriage, the family was stationed in Texas, Germany, New Mexico, Spain, and Tucson.

While stationed in New Mexico, Carol, a then mother of four, earned her bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of New Mexico, with honors.  She then began her nearly 30-year love of teaching at Holloman AFB, N.M. When the family was transferred to Marid, Spain she taught for the DOD Dependent Schools for 5 years. While in Spain, she and her family enjoyed traveling around Spain and to Germany, Greece, Portugal, and Italy. 

After returning to Tucson, she taught for many years at Santa Clara Elementary School. Although Carol was always passionate about all her students, she developed a particular fondness for her Native American students and families. Carol was often invited to and participated in their cultural activities in support of her students. She was honored to participate in sweat lodges with her students and their families. She was a hands-on teacher, and it wasn’t uncommon to see her playing kickball or basketball with her students during recess or riding rollercoasters with them at a theme park on field trips. Her students will no doubt remember her dressing up as a bumble bee to motivate them for the school’s spelling bee. In her classroom, however, she also fostered good citizenship and respect for our country and encouraged her students to learn about the Constitution and to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem.

In her free time, Carol loved camping trips to the beach or the White Mountains. She loved nothing more than to sit by a camp fire and enjoy the night sky. She also loved to travel and visited Mexico, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and Italy after her retirement. She loved reading crime mysteries and anything related to Native American stories. She loved all animals but had an extra fondness for cats and hummingbirds. She absolutely loved playing cards and was delighted when the family would gather at her house for a marathon night of Spades. Her family takes great comfort in knowing she’s playing cards with her family in heaven – the most beautiful campsite imaginable.

A celebration of Carol’s life will be held on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at Bring’s Broadway Chapel from 7-8 pm. A funeral Mass will be held at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish on October 21, 2021 at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, friends may make memorials to the Hermitage Cat Shelter. Condolences to the family may be sent to


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Celebration of Life

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Bring's Broadway Chapel
6910 East Broadway Boulevard
Tucson, Arizona, United States
(520) 296-7193

Memorial Mass

11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Thursday, October 21, 2021
Our Mother of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church
1800 South Kolb Road
Tucson, Arizona, United States
(520) 747-1321
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