Julian Jiron “J.J.” Martinez Jr. passed away in his home in Northglenn, CO on April 29, 2021. He was born on May 18, 1962, to Julian Jiron Martinez Sr. and Helen Baldonado in Albuquerque, New Mexico. J.J. was a devoted father, husband, uncle, son, brother, and friend.
J.J. (jota jota as his mom would call him) truly respected and loved his mother. She was at all of his games keeping score because she didn’t trust the scoreboard. He candidly accredited her and his father for the person he was. J was a cherished brother to his 5 siblings. Growing up he could be found playing sports with his brothers, or finishing his sisters’ dinner plates so that they could be excused from the table. Throughout high school, J.J. was a respected friend and teammate on the Sandia Matadors basketball team. He graduated from Sandia High School with the Class of 1980.
J.J. met Shawn in 1986, and together, the two of them moved to Denver, Colorado. They got married in 1989 and were happily married for 32 years. J.J.’s true purpose in life was to be a faithful, loving, and caring husband and father. Every aspect of his life was centered around his wife and children, Mitchell and Alex. He was always their source for wisdom, unconditional love, laughter, and advice. You could always find J listening to live music with his family, doing all things sports with his son, having a philosophical conversation with his daughter, or finding new ways to court his wife, even after 32 years.
While he would never claim to be, J.J. was the true definition of goodness. You would never find him speaking an unkind word about another person. He lived by a philosophy of forgiveness and was never one to hold a grudge. JJ always sought to find understanding before judgment in every situation. He had a way of finding the beauty in life but made sure to hold space for the sorrow too. Finding the balance in both is what made him a wonderful writer, poet, and human being. If you needed a laugh, you just had to talk to JJ for two minutes. He was always looking for ways to make people smile. He didn’t take himself, or life, too seriously. His humor was dry and witty but never cruel. He would say, “a joke is not funny if it is at someone else’s expense.”
J.J. is preceded in passing by his father, Julian. He is survived by his wife, Shawn Martinez; children, Mitchell and Alex (Darius Ortega); mother, Helen; brothers and sisters; Gloria (Bob Bruick), Andrew, Tom (Michelle DuVal), Rob (Rita), and Anna (Dennis Vigil); nieces and nephews, Haley (Cheyenne Sinn), Jessi Duong (Jonathan), Matthew and Leesha Martinez, Noah Bruick, and Avery Vigil.
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