In Loving Memory of LEONCIO MARTINEZ
September 12, 1944 to March 16, 2016
Leoncio “Papo” Martinez, adored by so many, is survived by his four children: Alegna C, Yvonne MB, Valerie MV and Joseph M, and their mother, Angela F. He is lovingly remembered by his children’s spouses: James, Lisle, Luis and Amanda, and eight grandchildren: Beth, Raven, Austin, Jadeen, Gabriel, Rikku, Zerase and Harley. He is also devotedly remembered by his girlfriend Noemi, her son Christopher, as well as many family members and friends across the country and in Puerto Rico.
Born in Cataño, Puerto Rico in 1944 to Felix Martinez and Ramona Fonseca, he was the second youngest of seven children. Papo moved to New York City when he was 21 years old. He was always good at fixing things and used his talents working as an auto mechanic and later as an HVAC technician for over 30 years. He could take apart any car or air conditioning unit and put it back together just as well as the manufacturer! He also loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter and deep sea fisherman, bringing home venison and his best catches!
Though he lived in New York City, Puerto Rico was always his home in his heart and soul, and the source of his passion in life. Papo could be described as the Puerto Rican Ambassador of El Barrio (Spanish Harlem). Every year, he decorated East 105th street with bonita banderas Puerto Riqueñas to celebrate his Puerto Rican pride. He had no fear of climbing high in order to place flags on top of fire escapes and light posts. Music was also always part of Papo’s life. He was known for playing congas, the guiro, and other instruments. He was a great salsa dancer and was happy to teach those who had two left feet! Wherever there was music and dance you would find Papo enjoying it with a cerveza in his hand and a smile on his face.
He had a great sense of humor, helped those in need, and showed strength even when he struggled. He was a great father, partner, friend, protector, and a proud man who was filled with life. And he will be missed immensely.
A viewing and prayer service will be held on Saturday, March 26 from 3:00PM - 9:00PM. Per his request, he will be cremated and his remains taken to Puerto Rico and spread in the Caribbean waters.