Marta “Martha” Gutiérrez Martínez Cadena
On Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 9, 2021, Marta “Martha” Gutiérrez Martínez Cadena passed away from complications of a chronic illness. She was 91 years old. She was preceded in death by her husband of more than 60 years, Henry Márquez Cadena. On the day of her passing, he, her parents, Florian “Annie” Gutiérrez and Adenago Martínez, and her seven siblings rejoiced and lovingly embraced her in God’s heavenly kingdom.
Martha was born on Saturday, December 28, 1929, in Lincoln, NM. She was one of eight surviving children born to Adenago and Annie Martínez. Her parents and siblings: Willie, Cedric, Trinidad “Fermin,” and Ernesto Martínez, and Maclovia Martínez Chávez, Louisa Martínez Salas, and Teresa Martínez Ramírez all precede her in death.
Martha’s three children, Donna Cadena of Roswell, NM; Gayle (David) Bonner of Clarksville, TN; and Richard Anthony Cadena of Clarksville, TN; three grandchildren, Marquez Martínez McClure of Clarksville, TN; Austin Cadena Wilson, of Pensacola, FL; and Bryan Cadena Wilson, FL; and three great grandchildren survive Martha. Additionally, she is survived by sister-in-law Sally Martínez and nephew James Martínez of Sierra Vista, AZ; brothers-in-law Frank Ramírez and family of Riverside, CA, and Rudy Cadena and family of La Luz, NM; the Gilbert and Juanita Salas family of Hondo, NM; nieces Nancy Burrola (Ray), Bertina Telles, Gratia Martínez and Rossana Martínez, all of Roswell, NM, and many extended family relations throughout the Hondo Valley and southeastern New Mexico.
Martha’s family, the Gutiérrez and Martínez ancestors, were among the earliest settlers of New Mexico and the Hondo Valley. The pioneer families, who settled the northern part of the state in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, established the communities of Lincoln, Arabella, Blue Water, etc., during the mid-1800s. Martha’s home in the Hondo Valley became a sanctuary where families nurtured the language, the culture and the traditions of their ancestors. The spirit of taking on the unknown was firmly rooted in Martha’s being as she, and the country faced the difficulties of the times –the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict, and the pandemic.
Upon graduation from Roswell High School, Martha enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, and while stationed in Newfoundland, she met and eventually married the love of her life, Henry Márquez Cadena of Alpine, TX. Henry and Martha were married on Thursday, July 17, 1952, at the Mexican Methodist Church in Roswell, NM. And while Martha would serve one enlistment in the U.S. Air Force, Henry would make the military his career, serving first in the U.S. Navy, and then the U.S. Army. Henry would retire in 1973 as a CSM. Throughout Henry’s 30 plus years in the military, the couple called Fort Campbell, KY, home of the illustrious 101st Airborne Division, their home. While Henry’s military deployments often required that he would be separated from his family, Martha attended LPN school, and worked as a pediatric nurse at Blanchfield Community Army Hospital, Ft. Campbell, KY, for 30 years.
In a career that spanned World War II, the Korean Conflict, and two tours in Vietnam, Henry did not live in his hometown again. Martha returned to live in her hometown of Roswell, NM after a 60-year absence, and it was here that she passed.
During her lifetime, Martha was a loving, caring, and compassionate mother, friend, and caregiver to her family, friends, co-workers, and strangers. Always willing to go that extra mile, Martha was loved and respected by all those who knew her. Her zest for life continued through retirement, and she enjoyed gardening and the fellowship of her church. She stayed active at the Clarksville YMCA, where she took water aerobics classes, and found companionships in such organizations as the Red Hats. When she moved to Roswell, NM, Martha continued to live an active lifestyle, and made enduring friendships, including those with Bob and Nancy Phillips who were always ready to help. She took pottery classes at the Roswell Adult Center, attended the Chaves County JOY Center and later its Adult Day Center. During these years, she enjoyed the friendships of Connie Ruiz, and JOY Center employees Grace, Samantha, Tammy, Gloria, and Norma. At the end of her life, Roswell, NM Kindred Hospice staff, nurse Maureen, chaplain Tim, social worker Helen, and CNAs Stacey and Valerie lovingly cared for Martha. We, Martha’s family, wish to extend our sincere appreciation for the care, love, and respect shown to Martha during her last days.
Martha passed at home in the loving care of her two daughters, Donna Cadena and Gayle Bonner. She will be forever cherished and remembered as a loving mother and friend who always did her best to show the love she carried in her heart. May she rest forever in peace and know that she is loved and missed by all those who knew her.
A family memorial service will be held at Ballard Funeral Home, Roswell, NM on Thursday, May 13, 2021. Martha’s cremated remains will be scattered in her beloved Hondo Valley, and interned alongside her husband, Henry Márquez Cadena at the Kentucky Veterans’ Cemetery in Hopkinsville, KY.
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