Eternal Hills Funeral Home, Cremation and Memory Gardens
3594 Stone Mountain Highway, Snellville, GA
Rita K. Martinez
March 25, 1943 – May 9, 2020
Rita Kay Chapman Martinez, was born in Winamac, Indiana on the 25th of March, 1943. Kay grew up in this town in Pulaski County where she learned Midwestern values and a strong sense of family forged by German and Catholic roots. After a successful high school career, winning the Marshall and Lola Carper scholarship for college studies, she went to Indiana University, where she received her undergraduate Bachelor in Spanish degree. During this time, she spent six months in Viña del Mar in Chile, studying Spanish Literature and was awarded a Ford Foundation grant for her academic work. Kay then pursued graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, where she completed courses for a Master in Spanish and received a Fulbright Scholarship. It was also in Madison, Wisconsin that she met her future husband, Manuel Martinez. The couple was married on June 22, 1968. Kay and Manuel first worked and lived in Lansing, Michigan where they had their first daughter, then moving to Salta, Argentina in 1969, where they had their second daughter and first son, and later to Buenos Aires where their youngest son was born. In the late 1980s they returned to the USA, settling in Atlanta. Kay taught Spanish and English as a second language at various institutions on and off during her married life.
Throughout her life, Kay maintained a vivid concern for the well being of others, as she saw Christ in all. She loved talking to others, singing, and was a great cook (roasts, cakes, special sauces). Kay was a wonderful mom, who put her children's needs above all and taught them solid life skills. She delighted in spending time with friends and grandkids, as well as keeping up with family and being active in church, volunteering, attending prayer group, and helping coordinate events in the Catholic renewal movement. Kay had an unique way of making people comfortable given her genuine and endearing demeanor and nature and her sweet and welcoming smile. Her friends were a great source of strength and joy. She also had a unique ability to remember dates (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.), a sharp memory, and a sincere concern for the well being of all families, for which she prayed assiduously.
One of her key passions became starting and promoting perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, devotion to which she was deeply faithful up until her last hours. Her other favorite prayers which she loved and encouraged were the Divine Mercy chaplet and the Holy Rosary. Kay spent the last nine months of her earthly life at home, after being diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer, surrounded by the affection, care and constant company of her four children, and receiving multiple visits from her sisters and brothers, nephews and nieces and many friends. She was brave and courageous during this time, and enjoyed friends visits and calls, eating her favorite foods, and delighting in her grandchildren, who called her Abuma and made homemade cards and drawings to show their affection. She was a loving, faithful and loyal wife as well as a loving mother and grandmother. She is survived by her daughter Maria Gabriela, her daughter Elisabeth, her son Rafael (daughter in law Cecilia, grandson Sebastian and granddaughter Evangelina), and her son Miguel (daughter in law Mesely, granddaughters Sofia Belen and Teresa, and grandsons Lucas and Ezequiel, who was born about 40 minutes before her going to eternal life).
Private funeral services will be held at St Stephen the martyr Catholic Church in Lilburn, GA on Tue May 12th. A link to the mass will be available on the parish website by Tue afternoon. Private burial services will be held at North Atlanta Memorial Park on Wednesday May 13th. In lieu of flowers, Kay wished for prayers and for donations to St Stephen the martyr Catholic Church in Lilburn, GA, or to your favorite charity to benefit the needy.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Rita K. Martinez
May 15, 2020
Kay, my dear friend, who was the first person to speak to me in Spanish in Stone Mountain. She loved when I cooked soup for her when she felt weak. We shared so many moments together and those were gifts from God that helped us to become closer friends.
She was my daughter Mariangelli’ s Godmother. Kay and I spend many moments at the Monastery, praying, visiting the Blessed Sacrament as well as our consecration.
I am so grateful that my husband Angel, son Pedro and me were able to spend time with you her one last time this past December.
May you rest in peace my dear friend.
May 15, 2020
Kay and her family welcomed us when we had just moved to Georgia and we did not know anyone. Our families became good friends and Kay was my Godmother at my confirmation. She was always happy to spend time with us and always so affectionate, warm and generous. Kay was a good true friend and I am so lucky to have known her. I want to express my sympathy to your family, my heart is with you. Love;
May 14, 2020
Tengo un hermoso recuerdo de Kay , su calor humano, su disposición para amar y servir sin esperar nada a cambio. Fue la primera persona que me abrió los brazos en este país cuando apenas llegué me orientó y me llevo de compras cuando yo ni carro tenía. Como olvidar todo su amor y apoyo. Su amor por la adoración eucarística siempre allí con su adorado Jesús. Un ejemplo que arrastra. Gracias amadisima Kay ahora allí en el Paraíso sigue cuidando de todos los que te amamos.
May 14, 2020
Recordamos a Kay, q e p d, con mucho cariño y atención, especialmente hacia los más necesitados. Ya estará en ese lugar que Dios le tenía preparado y seguirá siempre muy cerca de ustedes en la comunión de los santos .
Con profundo pésame,
Steve, Rossie y Jacob Vickery
May 12, 2020
Kaye was our Angel on earth and she is now our Angel in heaven her love for our Beloved and Blessed Mother has impacted our lives to love our Mother even more she is now with Jesus Mary and Joseph comfort to her family will miss her but will see her in Heaven