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Joe Henry Martinez

joe martinez

August 6, 1931 ~ January 13, 2023

Born in: San Antonio, Texas
Resided in: San Antonio, Texas

Joe Henry Martinez, 91, from San Antonio, TX passed away on Friday, January 13, 2023. Joe was born on August 6, 1931, to Jose Maria Martinez and Ester Huron. 

Joe is preceded in death by his parents and ten siblings. Joe is survived by his children; Clifford Martinez, Cecilie Martinez O’Gara, Pamela Martinez, Marci Martinez, and Natalie Garcia. Joe leaves behind eight grandchildren, three great grandchildren, various cousins, nephews and nieces. 

Joe graduated from Luther Burbank High School in 1949. There, he was in the JROTC and was an awarded track star who competed at the state level. After graduation, Joe enlisted in the military where he served in both the Air Force and Army. In the Army, Joe served as a quartermaster in the Korean War. He was awarded the Korean Service Medal with a Bronze Star from the Army for his dedicated and distinguished efforts during the Korean War along with the United Nations Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

Joe returned from the service to start a family and continue his education. Joe earned a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State Teachers College and a master’s degree from Our Lady of the Lake University in Educational Administration. Joe spent the majority of his working years  in education. He spent several years as a teacher in Harlandale ISD. While he was teaching, he also worked as a car salesman and taught English to military officer candidates in training from South America. Joe spent a large portion of the time as an educator in administration where he served as the business manager and associate superintendent in Harlandale ISD. In 1974, Joe was awarded the Rockefeller Foundation Grant for Leadership Development.  Joe went on to be an assistant to the director in Dallas ISD, and assistant superintendent at Wilmer Hutchins ISD. He then went on to serve as the Superintendent of Schools for Somerset ISD for three years and Santa Rosa ISD for two years. 

Joe retired from Education in 1992, and went on to work as a City Manager for Santa Rosa, Director of Education for Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, a Substitute Teacher for Northside ISD, and finally a Property Tax Appraiser for Bexar County. Joe also volunteered on a school board for a charter school where he continued his passion for being an educational advocate and serving his community as a voice for education.

In his retirement, Joe was an active member of his community. He fought for justice, fairness, and equality on every level of his life from his neighborhood association to the city and state level. He enjoyed playing cards with his friends and his sister and absolutely loved dancing. You would often find Joe at the VFW on Saturday evenings dancing for hours on end. Joe was always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need. He was an advocate for all and had a passion for education. Joe leaves behind a legacy of dedication, hard work, a passion for helping others, and a love for life.


Memorial Service: February 3, 2023 9:30 am

Room: Shelter No. 3

Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
1520 Harry Wurzbach Rd.
San Antonio, TX United States


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  1. CandleImageI will miss my Great Uncle Henry. He was such a nice, funny, and loving Uncle to me and my husband Roy, and my siblings Celena & Tavo.

  2. My deepest condolences to the family. It has been a very long since I have been in touch with this lovely family and one of my very best friend Marci. Blessings to the family. May your Daddy Rest In Peace.

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