Nancy Jean (Cooley) Martinez was born June 18, 1945 in Sioux City, Iowa, third of five children of Marian and Ray Cooley. She lived with her parents and maternal grandparents on their farm in Iowa until 1950, at which time her father accepted a ranching position and they moved to Brawley, California. In 1955 the family moved again, this time to Phoenix, Arizona, where her father accepted a cattle buying/selling position with Herseth Meat Packing Company.
During elementary school, she attended Madison #2. Later she attended Camelback High School, directly across the street from their house. The family built a home on Thornwood Acres in Scottsdale and moved again when Nancy was a high school Sophomore. Not wanting to leave her high school friends, her older brother Raymond, who also attended Camelback HS, and her mother, shared in driving Nancy back and forth daily to school from Scottsdale until she graduated in 1963.
After high school graduation Nancy completed a dental assistant program in Scottsdale and began working at a dental office. She later worked at Woolco in Tempe, Arizona and moved into her first apartment.
She met her husband of 52 years, Joseph Martinez in the summer of 1967 while on a “girl’s trip” to Flagstaff with her friend Cindy. He was a Marine on leave visiting friends before being deployed to Vietnam. They were married the following year. After Joe was discharged from the Marines, they bought a house and settled in Phoenix where they raised three children, Mark, Laurie and Joey.
She worked with Dr. Thompson, DDS in his dental clinic and while there made many friends. She and Joe loved to garden, and raised vegetables, roses and flowers in their backyard with lemon and orange trees, built a playhouse for their children and put in a pool.
Later Joe accepted a position in Nevada and the family bought a home in Henderson. Their backyard was again a thing of beauty with Nancy’s rose & vegetable gardens, and Joe’s home-made, custom brick steps along the pathway.
After Joe passed away in 2020, she moved to Idaho to be closer to her family where she loved being a part of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s birthdays, holiday celebrations and family gatherings..
She lovingly spent her last days in her daughter Laurie’s home with hospice where she passed away in her sleep on May 9th with her daughter by her side.
Nancy was preceded in death by her parents Marian and Ray Cooley, a brother who passed away in infancy, her older brother Raymond, and her husband of 52 years, Joe Martinez. She is survived by her brother Tim Cooley, sister, Janet Cooley, three children, Mark, Laurie, and Joey, eight grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, a niece Hayley, and a nephew Donovan.
Final arrangements were made by Hansen Mortuary, and interment will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 20, 2022 at the Rupert Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held Friday, May 20, 2022, details will be forthcoming.