Joseph "Jay" Blaz Martinak

January 3, 1947September 29, 2013
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Joseph B. Martinak (Jay), 66, sadly passed away on September 29, 2013, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Jay was born in Lorain, Ohio to Joseph and Mary Martinak, a carpenter and a homemaker who cared lovingly for their four children.

Jay proudly served as a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War from 1967-1968, earning a Purple Heart, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and a Bronze Star among other medals.

Jay continued his pilot career flying with Cal Fire as an aerial firefighter eventually promoting to Chief of Flight Operations. After retiring from Cal Fire in December 2005, Jay worked for Dyncorp International, Construction Helicopters and Flight Test Aerospace.

Jay leaves behind his loving wife Alison who cared for him throughout his final days. He is also survived by his sister Patty Martinak, brother Phil (Sandy) Martinak, nephews Aaron, Alec and niece Lindsey Martinak, and step-children Kim Sheldon and Shane Reinsch.

Jay was preceded in death by his mother and father, Mary and Joseph Martinak, brother Terry Martinak and furry companions Shelby, Ginger and Stryker.

A private memorial will be held at Mt. Vernon Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, if you wish, donations can be sent to: Friends of Vinh Son Orphanage, PO Box 9322, Auburn, CA 95604-9322 or Hinds Hospice of Merced.

Rest peacefully now my dear ...


  • Memorial Service Saturday, October 26, 2013

Joseph "Jay" Blaz Martinak

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October 26, 2014

I miss you more now than ever, babe. You are in my thoughts every day and night. Life will never be the same without you. You completed it for me. Now what shall I do? I will love you forever and ever! Thank you for sharing your life with me.

Kathy (Barta) Highley

December 16, 2013

So sad to hear of Joe's passing. He was my first love - Elyria Catholic HS back in Ohio and made me fall in love with Corvettes. He will always have a warm spot in my heart.

October 31, 2013


I'll miss the smile in your eyes when you teased me, the advice you gave, the times when I needed someone to just listen and you did, the conversations about everything and nothing and your love for family.

You know that I love you brother dear.

Your only and therefore "your oldest sister"


Lindda Lott

October 26, 2013

Jay, you have left us in this world with a piece of ours hearts but left wonderful memories. You will be missed. As you join Gary and Jim above fly with out abandon my friend. My thoughts and prayers are with you Alison and family. Breath.

October 25, 2013

Jay-Even though we didn't talk that often, I miss hearing your voice and laugh. It was always great seeing you when you came to visit. I am just sorry I never made to California. I know you, Terry, mom and dad are still with us and watching over us. Thanks for all you did for us. Lots of love- your sis-in-law Sandy

October 25, 2013

Jay You will be missed.

Carl"ED" & Debi Peters
Avenger CE 234

Shari Penn

October 23, 2013

I will always cherish the great times I had working with Jay. Fun times at AMU!

Stacy Strawder

October 21, 2013

God bless you Allison for taking such good care of our CDF family member! Thank the two of you for the family get togethers at your place I miss so much. Jay you are amongst the angels now, who are watching over us down under. God has taken you under his wings where you belong. Say hello to my dad for me will you?!?!?!?! Keep that smile on your face that would always brighten a crowded room. I will miss you much Jay! I love you!

October 17, 2013

Bob Fisher

October 13, 2013

To my Viet Nam veteran brother,may you rest in Peace. In all the years knowing you, we never really shared our stories. It was a pleasure and honor to have worked with you for so many years. Fly safe.
Alison, thank you for all that you did, Your time with Jay was much to short.