Abe Martinez was born in San Saba on August 3, 1924. He recently celebrated his 85th birthday with friends and family at a fish fry at Ann and Don McElroy’s ranch near Harmony Ridge Cemetery.
Abe lived in or around San Saba most of his life and is known and respected by many. Abe is probably best known for the contributions he made to our community while working 31 years as a maintenance technician for the San Saba Housing Authority. Abe has happy memories of his time at the SSHA, recalling with particular fondness long-time residents Helen Harkey, Leona Benningfield and Suzanne Walters. Suzanne reminisced, “Abe was the best. He was always ready to help with any problem we had.”
One of Abe’s proudest moments came when he married Mary Lena Flores on June 30, 1945 in Mills County. Abe and Mary had five children: Charles Martinez of Denton, TX; Josephine Peak of Shelby, N. C.; June Huff of San Saba; Gloria West of Houston and Henrietta Flanagan of San Saba. Mary and Abe have 16 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.
Abe is the son of Socorro J. Martinez and Doroteo Martinez. His mother was born in Mexico on December 10, 1905. His father was born in this area and lived here most of his life. Abe was one of eleven children.
Mary and Abe exemplified the values of their generation. Hard-working and self-sacrificing, they frequently held three or four jobs to support their children. Mary often cleaned houses in addition to her “regular job.” Before taking the job at the Housing Authority, Abe worked many years as a ranch hand and spent several years in Albuquerque, New Mexico before he and Mary returned to San Saba. Abe retired from the Housing Authority in 2005 at the age of 81.
But, things didn’t end there. W. D. Carroll, owner of San Saba Produce, knew Abe was the kind of guy who needed work to feel fulfilled. W. D. suggested that Abe contact the McElroys who were looking for help on their newly-acquired ranch. Abe and various members of the Martinez family have worked with the McElroys since August 2007. Abe continues to drive tractors, operate riding mowers and fixes anything that’s broken.
He is a talented man with a big heart and a wealth of experience. He continues to make a difference to everyone who knows him.