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Posted on February 22, 2018 | 6:43 p.m.

Ernestine Theresa Martinez of Santa Barbara, 1931-2018

Source: Laura Martinez Danhauer

Ernestine Theresa Martinez
Ernestine Theresa Martinez

Ernestine Theresa Martinez, a resident of Santa Barbara, passed away on Feb. 20, 2018, at the age of 87.

Our beloved Ernestine was born on Jan. 2, 1931 in Las Vegas, New Mexico. At 10 days of age, she was adopted into the loving home of Frank and
Benturita Martinez. She was raised in Des Moines, New Mexico, a small village near the Texas panhandle.

At the age of 13, she came to Santa Barbara to visit an aunt. It was on this trip that her parents decided to relocate to Santa Barbara. Upon
their return to New Mexico to sell their house, she reconnected with Daniel Martinez, who she had known all her life, as he was also a resident of Des Moines, New Mexico.

Danny had recently returned from his service in the Navy and had moved to Santa Barbara following barber school in Los Angeles. In 1945, at the age of 14, her family officially moved to Santa Barbara where she attended local schools, Santa Barbara Jr. High and Santa Barbara Senior High.

It was during this time, she married Daniel Martinez on Feb. 8, 1947, at Our Lady of Sorrows Church. They had two children, David and Susan. They were married for 52 years before his death on July 18, 1999.

In her adult life, Ernestine learned of her biological parents, Milnor Rudolph and Eutimia Casey. Through this discovery, she found her brother, Patrick Casey in 1991. They immediately bonded and opened their homes and hearts to each other.

Through this relationship, more family was revealed from both sides of her biological family tree. She was so happy and proud to have found members of her biological family after so many years. However, she always recognized, deeply appreciated, and loved her adoptive parents for choosing her to be their daughter.

Ernestine's lively and loving personality shined everyday. Most of her adult life was devoted to raising her children. She spent eight years working at
JCPenny in the accounting office, followed by the UCSB Accounting and Financial Services. She retired on April 1, 1991, after 16 years.

She enjoyed many hobbies like photography, dancing, listening to country western music, crossword puzzles, reading, learning history, especially the history of the Southwest, and as she put it "detective work."

As active as she was, her greatest joy was her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was a woman dedicated to her family, supporting each of their endeavours. She was proud of their accomplishments and would not be shy to tell a listening ear.

She will be sadly missed by her daughter Susan Mendoza (Richard), her grandchildren, Marlies Mendoza Horton (Conan), Christopher Martinez
( Xochitl), Linnea Mendoza, Laura Danhauer (Tate); and her great grandchildren, Nicolas Demarest, Alexia Horton, Reese Danhauer, Lane Danhauer, Nathan Meister, Juliana Horton and Luisa Martinez.

As for her New Mexico family, she is survived by her brother Patrick Casey (Gail); and nephews, Gaelen and Colin Casey. In addition, she leaves behind numerous biological cousins including Gloria Newton, Sandy Pino and Rosa Pacheco, who she loved and was grateful to connect with.

Ernestine was preceded in death by her husband Daniel Martinez; her adoptive parents Frank and Benturita Martinez; her biological parents Milnor Rudolph and Eutimia Casey; her sister Mary Gunderson; and daughter-in-law Constance Martinez.

The family would like to extend their deepest appreciation and heartfelt thanks to those who cared for GEM (Grandma Ernestine Martinez).

Thank you to the staff at Heritage House, Assisted Hospice Care, and Alicia Gomez who took great care of Ernestine as her mobility became limited. We are so grateful that she was attended to with loving hands and warm hearts.

A rosary will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 21 E. Sola St., Santa Barbara. A mass honoring her life will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28, also at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, with burial service to follow at Santa Barbara Cemetery, 901 Channel Drive.

— Laura Martinez Danhauer


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