SFC (RET) Henry G. Martinez Sr., 72, of Junction City, KS, passed away on March 5, 2021, at Geary Community Hospital surrounded by family. A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Xavier Catholic Church at 9:00 am., Monday, March 15, 2021 with Fr. Martin Novitzky officiating. Burial with military honors followed at Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery. Visitation was held at Johnson Funeral Home on Sunday, March 14, 2021 from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. with Rosary at 6:00 pm. Memorial contributions have been designated to the Boy Scouts of America, Troop #41, c/o St. Xavier Catholic Church, 218 N. Washington Street, Junction City, KS 66441.
Henry was born on December 17, 1948 in Houston, Texas, to Eugenio and Ascension (Gonzales) Martinez. He grew up in Stafford, Texas with his eight sisters and five brothers. In July of 1967 at the young age of 18, he enlisted in the United States Army, as he was always intrigued by the military and wanted to be a soldier. He was stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas, and served in the Big Red One Infantry. During his service, he fought in the Vietnam War and honorably served in the military for 22 years. He earned many decorations and awards which include but are not limited to: Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Expert Infantryman Badge, Good Conduct Medal (7th Award), Army Achievement Medal with 2nd OLC, Army Commendation Medal with 1st OLC, and Meritorious Service Medal with 1st OLC.
He married the love of his life, Mary (Castillo) Martinez, on October 21, 1967, in Stafford, Texas. They had four children and created their lives in Junction City, Kansas. Recently they celebrated 53 years of marriage.
After his retirement from the United States Army, Henry went to work as Forming and Enrobing Supervisor (Nights) and Packing and Wrapping Supervisor (Days) at Russell Stover Chocolates in Abilene, KS, until his second retirement in 2018.
Henry was a member of the American Legion of Junction City. In his spare time, he enjoyed doing lawn care, barbecuing, being a Boy Scouts of America Leader, and spending time with family and friends.
He is survived by his loving family: wife, Mary L. of Junction City, KS; son, Henry Martinez Jr. of Junction City, KS; three daughters, Tracy (Kris) Byman of Gallup, NM, Mary A. Martinez of Junction City, KS, and Mandy (Philip) Rametta of Lenexa, KS; three grandsons, Zachary Byman, Tyler Martinez, and Philip Rametta II; two granddaughters, Isabella Byman and Viviana Rametta; eight sisters, Maria, Juanita, Frances, Eugenia, Estella, Catarina, Paula, and JoAnn; one brother, Johnny; and a host of loving family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Eugenio and Ascension Martinez; and four brothers, Jose Martinez, Eugenio Martinez Jr., David Martinez, and Michael Antonio Martinez.