Life Story for Medin Martinez
Medin Martinez, 94, devout Catholic, devoted husband, father and WW II Veteran went peacefully in his sleep. He lost his fight against cancer, but he never lost his heart and love for God. For those who knew him, Medin was a humble man, a true servant of God. Born and raised in Palmarejo, Puerto Rico he was the 3rd oldest of 8 children, whom all worked the farm. In his pursuit of attaining a better life, he joined the US Army and was in World War II as a Tech 6. After his marriage he moved to New York and lived in a apartment. His first job was in a bakery. He was a sweeper, and he shared how he liked this job because besides his salary, when he swept, he would find a penny, nickel or dime and that was extra money. He used the money he received from the Military to learn a trade, plumbing and heating. He transitioned to a job in Manhattan as an elevator operator. During this time, he had 4 boys he was raising, and was putting them through Catholic school. Another transition in his life occurred, when the family moved to Staten Island and bought a house. At this point he had also transitioned jobs, and he was the superintendent of a building in Manhattan. His commute was longer, getting up at 4:30am, walking to St. George ferry (1.2 miles away) to go to Manhattan, then taking the train to 38th street and walking to his building. He would get back home about 7pm. This was his routine for years until he retired at age 62. During his travels to and from work, there was a running joke that he lost 4 rosaries, 8 umbrellas, 4 hats, 3 pairs of gloves and 2 lunch boxes. He made a few more transitions moving to Upstate New York, 2 different towns and then North Carolina, 3 moves within the state, which he started to coin the phrase, “I just want to move with my hands in my pocket”.
Throughout his life, he made it clear that God’s hand was always guiding him, even when he didn’t see it. Medin had his daily prayers routine throughout the day and that kept him close to God to continue to be his humble servant. Throughout his life he always found a means to support family, friends and charities.
Medin knew education was important and emphasized that to his boys whenever he had a chance. But, you cannot go through life without having any gaffs and there are two which he never lived down. The first, one of his son’s was struggling with math. In an attempt to explain the concept and his son still not getting it, he tried to simplify counting. He asks him to stick out all his fingers. Medin starts counting his son’s fingers on his left hand, then his right. As he gets towards the end, Medin says, “7, 8 ,9, 10 11”, his son gets this baffled looked on his face, Medin just walks away. The second gaff, which he stated was not a gaff, was report card time. With the exception of his eldest son, the others son’s had strengths and weaknesses. When they come home with a low grade in history, he’d say, “history is important to know, you have to learn what happened in the past.” Then next semester if we had a low grade in science, he’d say, “science is important to know,….” Once the boys got older they asked, so which subject was important, and he say “all of them!”
As his last days approached, his love for God was burning hotter than ever. He was peaceful and accepted the will of God as this was the cross he had to carry until the end. He kept saying, “my bags are packed and I’m ready to go.” For those who may be curious of how he spent his last 4 months in the hospital and hospice; it was amazing. You hear of horror stories of hospital care, but Medin, by the grace of God, was exceptionally cared for. He was comfortable, had 24x7 care, and was not in any pain, other than nausea and upset stomach. This next part is where you need to pay attention and brace yourself. There is a saying, ‘actions speak louder than words’, and Medin’s actions being in the hospital bed, were momentous. His actions of daily praying the rosary and the divine mercy chaplet was impacting his care-givers. People who didn’t or have not prayed in a while started to pray with him and on their own. This would not have been known have they not stepped up to admit the influence Medin had on them. Everyone who met him, doctors, nurses, volunteers came away with astonishment of his faith and the love in his heart. The night before he passed, there was a volunteer in his room, at this point Medin was not responsive. The volunteer never met him before, but asked the nurses who should she sit with that evening, and the nurses suggested she sit with Medin. The volunteer had no point of reference of who this person was. Coincidently, his son arrives and the topic of conversation is Medin, and how he lived his life. When the volunteer left, she was emotional and thanked Medin, for she received a message about his life that provided answers to what she was going through. Even on his death bed, he evangelized one last time by his actions without saying a word.
In concluding the earthly part of Medin’s there was an article in regards to the hurricanes that affected Houston and Florida, the following quote stuck out;
"Your greatest test is when you are able to bless someone while you are going through your own storm."
This epitomized Medin, not just over the last 4 months, but this was his way of life. Medin was a giving man, of his talents and time, he taught his family that God needs to be first and he lived an example of His word. He has always been a humble man and was appreciative of the care he was getting from his doctors, nurses, visitors, clergy and even the volunteers that visit the sick at the VA hospital. He would tell them all, “que Dios te bendiga ricamente” meaning “may God bless you richly.” In his condition, he would always ask how everyone else was doing. It should be of no surprise that the story of The Good Samaritan is the Gospel reading for his funeral mass.
Medin was beloved by so many and will be missed greatly. He was a great husband, father and friend, who is going to live in an awesome place.
R.I.P dad, I love you.
Medin's wishes were in leui of flowers to send donations to:
152 Susan Dr.
Garner, NC 27529.
My son will then present the total amount in honor of our beloved servant of God, Medin to Holy Angels (a hospital/home for severly disabled children). His last gift of charity here on earth.
If you know my dad he had helped so many and lived a life of charity. He gave and went without because he knew what God wanted him to do, trusted in his faith, believed without a doubt that God would always provide and He did! Some how, some way things worked out. Even through suffering he was still doing God's work. So please in lieu of flowers make a donation and help these children who have no voice.