Wendy Martinez, 67, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, passed away peacefully on March 31, 2023, surrounded by her loving family.
Wendy was born on May 10, 1955, to Ana and Juan Pantoja in the Bronx, New York City, New York. She considered Albuquerque, New Mexico home and felt strongly connected to her roots in Puerto Rico. She attended Fashion Industry High School in New York, graduating in 1972. She went on to study Fashion at Bronx Community College, for which she had an incredible passion.
In 1974, she married her high school sweetheart Thomas Sotomayor and soon after moved to Hawaii while he served in the United States Army. In December of 1975, Wendy relocated back to the Bronx to have her first child, Jasmine Sotomayor-Branch. Following the birth of their first child, the Army relocated Thomas and Wendy to California. In October 1978, Wendy gave birth to her first son, Thomas Sotomayor II. She was widowed in 1982.
In 1983, Wendy met Raymond Martinez in San Bernadino, California. They quickly fell in love and would exchange love-letters while Raymond was deployed with the United States Navy. Upon Raymond’s return, the couple moved to Imperial Beach, California. They gave birth to their daughter, Desiree Martinez, in March of 1985. In November of 1986 they gave birth to their youngest son, Raymond Martinez II. In 1991, Raymond and Wendy relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico where they would build their forever home together.
Wendy spent her life working hard. She acquired a dedicated work ethic at a young age. Throughout her life, she worked in a variety of customer service and retail positions in which she would touch the lives of many with her friendly, vivacious personality. She took great pride in her work and served as a model employee.
Wendy immediately lit up any room she entered and made an impact on countless people. She was a joyful presence with colorful clothes, a beautiful smile, and a contagious laugh. She loved her friends and family and filled her home with warmth and kindness. Her pride and livelihood was to be called “Mama Wendy” by ten grandchildren and four great grandchildren. She loved tie dye, and we would like for her celebration to be full of vibrancy and color. We will miss her greatly.
Wendy was preceded in death by her mother, Ana Pantoja, father, Juan Alberto Pantoja, her older brother Jorge Luis Pantoja, her younger brother, Alberto Pantoja, her niece Kati Pantoja, and her first husband, Thomas Sotomayor. She is survived by her husband Raymond Matinez, her children, Jasmine Sotomayor-Branch and her husband Dwight Jerry Branch, Thomas Sotomayor II, Desiree Martinez, Raymond Martinez II and his wife Jessica Martinez, her grandchildren, Danyel Muñoz, Serena Muñoz, Sabrina Branch, Marissa Sotomayor, Thomas Sotomayor II, Dominic Sotomayor, Areus Rivera, Evann Chavez, Maximus Martinez, Christian Martinez, and Emma Martinez, her great grandchildren, Zaniyah Branch, Zamani Gesiakowski, Amiyah Watts, Amora Worsham, nieces Jo-Ann Pantoja, Chantel Kinney, Tawny Pantoja-Tucker, nephew, Peter Pantoja, and great nieces, Kassandra Pantoja, Calista Pantoja-Kinney, and great nephew, Sebastian Tucker.
Services for Wendy will take place on Friday April 7, 2023 at Daniels Family Funeral Home at 7601 Wyoming Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109. Her viewing will start at 9:30am with a Catholic service beginning at 10:30. A celebration of life will take place following services at Wendy and Raymond’s home.