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Joe M. "Pipas" Martinez ( Missoula 1946 )

posted: Dec 28, 2020

Joe, 90, died December 23, 2014, in New Mexico. He was born May 16, 1924, in Albuquerque, N.M. Joe was sent overseas to fight in the Pacific against the Japanese in World War II with the Air National Guard. After completing 29 successful bombings without injury, he earned the Distinguished Flying Medal, went to the University of Montana to complete his undergraduate studies.

Joe returned to his native New Mexico to Santa Fe in early 1952 and started teaching Science and Biology at the EspaƱola Municipal Schools in 1953, was promoted to Principal in 1966 and stayed until he retired in 1983. Joe was recognized by Mayor Larry A. Delgado with a certificate proclaiming May 16, 2004, to be Joe "Pipas" Martinez Day in Santa Fe for his undying commitment to the Santa Fe Senior Citizens Program for over 20 years. He jumped at Missoula during the 1946 season making seven practice jumps and one fire jump on July 29, 1946, breaking his ankle and ending his smokejumping career.