ABOUT GUADALUPE AND LILIA MARTINEZ
Jose Guadalupe Martinez Uribe was born in his mother's ancestral home in San Ygnacio, TX in 1914. He was the only surviving infant of his mother's many pregnancies. He was a fourth generation landowner in San Ygnacio. His great grandfather was Blas Uribe, his grandfather was Jose Maria Uribe, and his parents were Cecilio Martinez Trevino and Maria de Jesus Uribe. When Lupe was an infant his father died in a Laredo hospital. His maternal grandfather was a big influence in his life until Don Jose Maria's death when Lupe was twelve years old.
Lupe went to elementary school in San Ygnacio and then went as a boarder to Holding Institute in Laredo for his high school education. After high school he went to Byrne Business College in San Antonio. He returned to San Ygnacio to Rancho La Union, the Spanish Land Grant ranch he inherited from his mother's family.
Lupe could easily be described as a renaissance man. He was well-educated for his time. His talents reached to the arts and music having learned to play the violin in his youth. He could easily entertain with a strong voice and the knowledge of many folk songs telling the varied stories of his culture and upbringing. He was a successful rancher. But what distinguished Lupe from many others was his willingness to give his time and resources to the community. The walls of his house were filled with countless plaques and documents of recognition given to him for his service to others. As time passed when he could no longer contribute in person, he faithfully gave of his resources.
In 1939, Lupe married Lilia Olga Gutierrez. She was a descendent of other Land Grant families from Zapata. She came from the Gutierrez de Lara and Ramirez lines that settled the area south of San Ygnacio. Lilia was a pioneer in her own right. She began her career as an elementary school teacher in San Ygnacio. Not satisfied with her educational level she started her quest for a bachelor's degree from Texas A&I University in Kingsville. She taught school during the day, performed her wife and home duties in the evening and traveled to Kingsville on weekends to better herself. The attainment of a bachelor's degree did not stop her as she soon begin studying in the Master's program, something unheard of for Hispanic women in that day and time. Lilia went on to become Principal of the elementary school in San Ygnacio, the position she held until she retired in 1971. Retirement did not slow Lilia down as she continued her education by taking art and language classes at what is now Laredo Community College.
In 2001, Lupe and Lilia began the task of establishing an estate plan. With the advice of San Antonio law firm, Oppenheimer, Blend, Harrison and Tate, they established The Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Foundation. The Foundation was officially incorporated by the State of Texas on June 26, 2001.
Although Lilia passed away in 2003 and Lupe in 2006, The Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Foundation allows the values that they lived to continue into the future. They both gave much of their lives to others, whether in the form of volunteering in the community or the education of small children. It is quite possible that their Foundation can do the same for countless years to come.