Inocencio Martinez, beloved husband, father and grandfather, died January 13, 2021.
Born in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, September 22, 1935, Ino always dreamed of coming to the United States. When he was in high school, his father enrolled him in Tex Mex, now known as Presbyterian Pan-American School, a high school for boys from Mexico located in Kingsville, Texas. After graduation he attended King College, now King University, in Bristol, Tennessee, where he met his beloved wife of 59 years, Lucy Anne Roberts, of Knoxville, TN. They were married on July 22, 1961 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Bristol, Virginia. He then attended the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Food Science and Food Technology. After graduation he worked for The Heekin Can Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, and subsequently, worked for General Foods Corporation, Dover, Delaware, Libby’s, in the Chicago area; Mead Johnson in Evansville, Indiana; Quaker Oats, Barrington, Illinois; Coca Cola, Atlanta; and InZone Brands, Vinings, GA. Through the years he became an expert in food packaging and machinery. He was instrumental in designing many innovative packages, one of which was a 32 ounce Gatorade bottle, for which he received an award in New York City. When we went out to dinner, he would always mention to the server that the squeeze cap on the ketchup bottle was his idea, an idea which earned him a patent from Coca Cola.
He was a member of the Episcopal Church and very faithful to the Lord and the church. He was a Licensed Lay Reader for many years, he taught Sunday school, served on several vestries and was an Altar Guild member. He was a stained glass artist, making lamps and sun catchers for the whole family. His crowning achievement in stained glass was crafting nine windows for St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in Canton, GA where he was a member for 23 years. While in Canton, he volunteered for an after-school program called Path to Shine, which was formed by an Episcopal deacon for under privileged elementary school children. He was proud of the work he did there.
He was a loving man and devoted family man. His grandchildren lovingly called him Abu. Ino was a phenomenal story teller. Hours can be spent retelling all of his stories from his everyday life and his foreign travels. He loved to create recipes and share food and recipes with his family. He remained devoted to his ten brothers and sisters in Mexico and visited them whenever he could. One of his joys after moving to Savannah was to participate in the social life of the neighborhood, especially the Grumpy Men’s Coffee group on Saturday mornings. More could be said, but, finally, this amazing packaging engineer, likewise, had a beautifully engineered life!
He is survived by his wife, Lucy Roberts Martinez, of Savannah; daughters Janice Marie Martinez (spouse Larry Anastasia) of Rochester, MI; Barbara Michelle (Bambi) Martinez (spouse Scott Prieb)of Chesterfield, MO; and son Thomas Matthew Martinez (spouse Alicia Roth Martinez) of Grayson, GA; grandchildren Madison Olivia Martinez, Sheridan Michelle Prieb, Luke Harrison Martinez, Emily Hope Martinez, and many family members in Mexico.
There will be a Celebration of Life worship service at St. Clement’s Church in Canton, GA at a date and time to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or to the American Cancer Society.