Gov. Martinez’s brother dies af­ter bat­tle with ALS

El Paso busi­ness­man bat­tled rare neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­ease

Albuquerque Journal - - METRO & NM - BY DAN BOYD JOUR­NAL CAPI­TOL BUREAU

SANTA FE — Jake Martinez, the older brother of New Mex­ico Gov. Su­sana Martinez, died Thurs­day af­ter a two-year bat­tle with a rare neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­ease, the Gover­nor’s Of­fice said Fri­day.

He was sur­rounded by fam­ily mem­bers, in­clud­ing his two sis­ters, when he passed away. He was 63.

A life­long res­i­dent of El Paso who is sur­vived by his wife, three chil­dren and four grand­chil­dren, Jake Martinez was a small busi­ness owner whose health de­te­ri­o­rated af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with amy­otrophic lat­eral scle­ro­sis, or ALS.

“The gover­nor and her fam­ily hope that Jake’s fight with ALS will help raise aware­ness of this ter­ri­ble dis­ease,” Martinez spokesman Ben Cloutier told the Jour­nal.

Gov. Martinez, a two-term Repub­li­can who will step down at year’s end, has faced try­ing fam­ily de­vel­op­ments dur­ing her eight years as gover­nor.

Her late fa­ther, Ja­cobo “Jake” Martinez, a for­mer three-time Golden Gloves box­ing cham­pion and Korean War vet­eran, died af­ter an ex­tended bat­tle with Alzheimer’s dis­ease in De­cem­ber 2012.

Martinez’s sis­ter, Let­tie, who is de­vel­op­men­tally dis­abled, has also faced health is­sues in re­cent years. The gover­nor acts as the le­gal guardian for Let­tie Martinez, who has reg­u­larly at­tended Martinez’s an­nual State of the State ad­dresses in Santa Fe.

De­tails about a fu­neral ser­vice for Jake Martinez were not im­me­di­ately an­nounced.

PHOTO COUR­TESY GOVER­NOR’S OF­FICE

Gov. Su­sana Martinez with her brother, Jake Martinez, at a re­cent ALS event. Jake passed away on Thurs­day.

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