ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Jacobo “Jake” Martinez, the father of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, has died after an extended battle with Alzheimer’s disease, the Governor’s Office said Tuesday.
Jake Martinez died late Monday in El Paso. He was 80.
A former three-time Golden Gloves boxing champion in Texas, Martinez was a Korean War veteran who was raised in El Paso by his grandmother. He worked as a deputy sheriff in El Paso and later started his own security company.
Jake Martinez had been afflicted with Alzheimer’s for at least eight years and recently had been living in a house with a full-time caregiver, the governor told the Journal in a 2012 interview.
A son had been helping to take care of him while Susana Martinez took care of her sister, who is developmentally disabled and lives under the governor’s guardianship.
Jake Martinez attended his daughter’s election night victory celebration in Las Cruces in November 2010 and also was present when Susana Martinez was sworn in two months later as the nation’s first elected Latina governor.
The governor, who still has a home in Las Cruces, canceled at least one scheduled public event in the last week to be near her father as his condition worsened.
Jake Martinez will be buried at Fort Bliss National Cemetery in Texas, the Governor’s Office said.
In lieu of flowers, the governor and her family asked that memorial contributions be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.
— This article appeared on page A4 of the Albuquerque Journal