Delia A. Martinez (nee Munoz) was the kind of mother who would drop everything and do anything to help out her family, according to her son Matthew Martinez. “She’d always stop what she was doing to babysit her grandchildren,” he said. “She was so proud of them and her boys.”
Martinez was born in Chicago and then spent several years of her childhood in Kansas City, Mo., before her family relocated back to Chicago. She was one of four children and the youngest girl. As a teenager, her mother moved often in the Chicago area, working to support her family. Delia Munoz transferred between five schools in just three years.
While attending a high school dance she met her future husband, Ralph Martinez. The couple had five sons, the first two born on military bases as her husband served in the U.S. Army. Once he was discharged, the couple settled back in Chicago and later moved to Lynwood where he worked as an insurance agent and she was a homemaker.
“She always put her family first and held her boys in the highest regard,” said her son.
He noted that she also made time to be involved in her community and had served in a woman’s club through St. Ann Church, the PTO at St. Ann School, the PTA at Sandridge School, as an election judge and she helped work on political campaigns in Lynwood. She also was a School Board member in Lynwood.
Martinez had a green thumb and was an avid gardener. Her son said that she was always growing vegetables and had lovely flower gardens.
“As the only woman in the house, she had to be fair, but firm,” said her son. “She could roll around and laugh with us, but still make us understand there were boundaries and repercussions for your actions.”
Martinez was a grandmother of eight.