TOMAS BUENDIA MARTINEZ
March 7, 1936 – June 23, 2021
Tomas (Tommy) Buendia Martinez, 85, passed away on June 23, 2021 at his home in Lubbock, Texas, surrounded by his family. Tommy was born in Carlsbad, New Mexico, and had been a lifelong resident of Carlsbad, until moving to Lubbock with Maria (Josie) Martinez, his wife of more than 65 years, a year and a half ago. Tommy and Josie were married in Carlsbad on August 17, 1955, and lived at 313 West Etter Street in Carlsbad’s Barrio de San Jose in the home Tommy literally built with his two hands over the years. In this home, Tommy and Josie raised five children, Rose, 64, Daniel, 62, Elizabeth, 60, Delora 58, and Tomas, Jr., 54, who blessed them with six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Tommy was born on March 7, 1936 to the marital union of David and Marina Martinez, the first of eight siblings: Johnny, Pauline, Senona, Francisca, Patricia, Julian, and David, Jr. Tommy and his brother Johnny had no opportunity for formal education because as very young boys, they worked to help their father support their mother and six younger siblings. Despite this, Tommy always found opportunities to learn new skills to enhance his employment options and home construction efforts. After working other jobs, often several at the same time, Tommy got a job as a trackman with the Santa Fe-Topeka Railroad in 1963 and became a member of the AFL-CIO, providing his family with important benefits like medical insurance.
Tommy retired in 1995 after 32-years with the railroad. While employed by the railroad, Tommy also operated a part-time handyman, yard and maintenance service which he continued to operate in retirement because Tommy understood the importance of providing for his family. The Dunagan family were his clients for almost 60 years. “Pop” Dunagan hired Tommy in 1957 and Tommy continued to work for the Dunagan family until 2014. Pop’s son Edwin, who established the well-regarded Carlsbad realty and insurance firm that bears the family name, continued to employ Tommy as did Pop’s grandson George. Pop, Ed, and George were not only Tommy’s employers, they were also his dear friends.
Family was everything to Tommy, and he delighted in spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Tommy was a silent Dallas Cowboys’ fan and a Los Angeles Dodgers’ fan; he enjoyed watching wrestling on TV; and he did carpentry and woodworking, building elaborate dollhouses for his granddaughters and great granddaughters.
Tommy was a man of faith and a lifelong parishioner of the San Jose Catholic Church in Carlsbad. COVID-19 prevented him from becoming a parishioner of the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Lubbock, but every Sunday morning without fail, Tommy attended Catholic mass services by TV.
Tommy is survived by his beloved wife Josie; his five children and their spouses Rose and Ralph Santos, Daniel and Irene Martinez, Elizabeth Martinez and Jonathon Gerson, Delora Martinez, Tomas and Angela Martinez; his grandchildren and their spouses Juan Santos, Mona Santos and Anthony Mora, Nora and Nicholas Skorina, Jacob Martinez, and Javier Martinez Gerson; and his great grandchildren Davian Burton-Lejia, Healyna Burton, Isaiah Mora, Adrian Mora, Maria Isabella Mora, and Nathan Skorina. Tommy was preceded in death by his parents David and Marina Martinez, his sister Pauline Rodriquez, and his granddaughter Heather Burton.
Tommy’s strong work ethic was very much influenced by his love and commitment to his wife Josie, their five children, and their grandchildren and great grandchildren, reflecting his wish to ensure their needs were met and their lives would be easier than his. Tommy’s legacy was to instill that strong work ethic in each of his five children.
Visitation services will be held from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 28, 2021, at Guajardo Funeral Chapels, 407 N. University Avenue in Lubbock, with the Holy Rosary prayer at 7:00 p.m. that evening. A mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 1603 Cherry Avenue in Lubbock with burial to follow in the City of Lubbock Cemetery.
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