Gov. Martinez’s brother dies after battle with ALS
El Paso businessman battled rare neurological disease
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.
Gov. Susana Martinez with her brother, Jake Martinez, at a recent ALS event. Jake passed away on Thursday.