The Martinez family, with great sadness, announces the unexpected passing of Elizabeth Martinez, aka Grammo Sis, Liz, Sis, on Friday, Jan. 24 2014. She was born in Roswell, on Oct. 8, 1925, and remained a lifelong resident, except when her, husband Fermin’s military assignment took the family to England, France and Italy.
During World War II and the Korea era, Fermin was a U.S. Army ranger; he later served in the U.S. Air Force. The family, which included four daughters, returned home in the mid-60s, when Fermin was reassigned to Walker Air Force Base.
When Fermin volunteered to serve his country in Vietnam, Sis cared for and educated their daughters as so many military wives do. Funeral services are scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, at Ballard Funeral Home Chapel. Preceding interment at South Park Cemetery, she will lie in state on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In 1598, Grammo Sis’ ancestors were a part of the group that established the first colony in what today is New Mexico. Some two and one half centuries later, her family, the Luceros, settled in the Hondo Valley, and along with other families from the northern part of the state, established the settlements of Lincoln and others along the rivers of the fertile Hondo Valley.
The marriage of Inez Lucero McTeigue of Arabella, and Amos Harden Rue of Denton, Texas, gave birth to Sis’ mother, Elizabeth Rue. Elizabeth Rue married George Kihias, from Athens, Greece, but she died after giving birth to their only child, who we lovingly know as Grammo Sis. Her aunt, Martha McTeigue Carrillo, raised Sis as her own daughter. Martha McTeigue Carrillo was known as Mama Mart to her family and to those who loved her. Mama Mart owned two restaurants; one restaurant, the Alto Café, was on Main Street in Roswell, the other was in Hagerman.
Sis married the love of her life, T. Fermin Martinez on Nov. 15, 1946. The couple was married for 51 years and they had four daughters: Nancy, Bertina, Gratia and Rossana. Sis was preceded in death by her grandparents, parents and husband. Those left behind to cherish memories of a kind, generous and caring lady are her daughters: Nancy Burrola, and her husband, Ray, Bertina Telles, Gratia Martinez and Rossana Martinez. Grandchildren: Marcos Burrola, Andrés Burrola, and wife, Cara, of Denver, Reina Rascón and husband, Juan, of San Antonio, Texas, Matías Telles, of Carlsbad, Maritza Gomez, and husband, Joshua, of San Antonio, Texas, Estrella Telles, of Las Cruces, Lorena Northup and husband, Cody, of Roswell, Elizabeth Mysza, of Dallas, Texas, and Vincent and Adam Mysza of Roswell. Great-grandchildren: Luke Burrola, Rocco and Ryder Rascón, Luis and Celeste Calderón, Anais and Adiana Telles, Jonah Gomez and expected sister, Mia Elizabeth Gomez, and Kaylie Rae Van Orden. Special family members include: nephew, Gilbert, and his wife, Juanita Salas, of Lincoln; sister-in-law, Martha Martinez Cadena, of Roswell; and niece, Donna Cadena Wilson, of Roswell. Also surviving are numerous nieces, nephews and extended family members.
Serving as pallbearers are her grandsons, Marcos, Matias, Andrés, Vincent and Adam; and great-grandson, Luis.
The Martinez family would like to thank her care givers, especially her beloved youngest daughter, Rossana, the staff of Roswell Home Medical, and Pecos Valley Rehabilitation Center.
Roswell and New Mexico have lost a grand lady whose pioneering stock led to the development of the state. Her sense of humor and good nature always had the family laughing and she will remain in our hearts and memories all our lives.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at ballardfuneralhome.com.