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Connie Benavidez Martin was born on November 19, 1948, in Chama, New Mexico. She quietly departed this life on March 26, 2019 at her home in Morgan Hill in the presence of loving family members and her beloved cat Natasha. She was born to Josephine Valdez Benavidez and Jose Samuel Benavidez of Chama, New Mexico.

After graduation from Chama High School in 1966, she held various jobs in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Albuquerque, New Mexico. She moved to Glendale, California in 1970, caring for the children of a good friend, where she met the love of her life, Van A. Martin (worked for IBM and FAA pilot) during which time she was an interpreter through her church.

They married and settled in Morgan Hill. Connie was a connoisseur of learning and knowledge and attended Gavilan College and West Valley College, and was a dedicated student of classical guitar, flamenco and ballet, as well as other dance forms. She spoke Italian, French and Spanish, which helped her whenever she traveled to foreign countries with Van, or with her church group. She trained, but did not pursue, a nursing career.

Her pride and joy was her love of her feline pets, family and friends. Among her loyal friends, she could always count on Sue and Tom Martines, Amber Martines and Esther Lechuga and her daughters. Tom also worked with Van on many projects at IBM. She was very generous and a kind vibrant soul, full of wit and passion for the things she loved, accompanied always by a sunny smile and a sparkle in her eyes.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Jose Samuel and Josephine Benavidez, her brothers, Ramoncito and Michael Stanley; her sisters, Lorraine Jaramillo, Lucille Branch, Esther Jones, and, of course, her beloved husband, Van Martin. She is survived by six siblings, her brother, Sam F. Benavidez, Jr., Mary Maxie Torrez, Nancy Benavidez, Jessie Fisher, Margarita Pomeroy (Horace Pomeroy), and Lilly Lopez (Joe Lopez), in addition to a host of numerous nieces and nephews, one of whom, Emily Pomeroy Locke, Connie appointed as guardian over her affairs. She had devoted friends, Amber Martines and Esther Lechuga and were also her caretakers.

We are grateful to Pastor Fred Hill and his wife Carol from her church (United Church of God, Santa Cruz) who came to be with her during her hospital stay and, later, when she was taken home. We thank the Kaiser Permanente hospice medical nurses who took care of her, as well.

Memorial services will be held at a later date. Cremation has been handled by Smart Cremation. Connie loved the green, lush village of her birth, Chama, and the beautiful San Juan Mountain range of the majestic Rocky Mountains. It is the Chama River where her ashes and those of Van’s, will be scattered later this summer.

Connie brightened the lives of all who knew her. She will forever be remembered by her loving and generous spirit which will continue to live richly in our memories. She was a spiritual woman who lived her life by the tenets of the bible. Her child-like wonderment and joy toward life, her irrepressible drive for excellence in all she undertook are hallmarks of her happy, fulfilled life.

For those who knew Connie, and would like to contribute, please forward any loving sentiments that can be read during her memorial service to ([email protected]). Connie would appreciate in lieu of flowers, to please make contributions in her name to SPCA, an organization that was dear to her heart.

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