Margarita Esther Martinez

March 6, 1940July 30, 2018

Our mother, Margarita Esther Martinez (Williams) went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus, on July 30, 2018. As a Cursillista, her earthly journey, her 4th day, was complete and she began her eternal life with God, referred to as her 5th day, peacefully at her home.

Esther was born in Wilcox on March 6, 1940. She was the sixth of twelve children born to parents Palmer and Margarita. As a child, she grew up in the Black Hill area of Downtown Yuma. She attended Yuma Schools, later settling down to raise her family with her husband Charlie on West 5th St. This would remain her home for over 55 years.

Esther held many jobs. She will be remembered as a seamstress at Hicks and Ponder Co. There she met and remained friends with several of her co-workers. In 1976 she joined the Crane School District as a Bus Driver Assistant before becoming a permanent Bus Driver. This was the job she truly loved. If you were a Crane School Student between 1976-2005, Mrs. Martinez probably drove your bus. She loved her "School Kids" and enjoyed driving and being a small part of their lives. One school year, she learned sign language so that she could better communicate with a Hearing-Impaired Student. This would help her later when she lost her voice.

Esther was a devout member of Immaculate Conception Church. She was involved in many ministries, most notably, the English and Spanish Cursillo. She also loved dancing before the Lord as part of the Guadalupana Dance group.

Esther considered Dr. Michael Shea, Dr. David Hohuan, and Dr. Thomas Nagel her heroes when she fought her battle with larynx cancer in 2016 and again in 2017. They may have taken her voice box, but NEVER her spirit and for this we were grateful.

She is survived by her children Margie "Patsy" Helsel, Christine (Lupe) DeLeon, Charles and Frank, 15 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren. She is survived by her sisters Virginia Magallanes, Josephine Sandfrey, Mary Dooley, Gloria Rocha, her brothers, Robert Williams and Victor Montellano, her sister in law, Ramona Williams, many beloved cousins, nephews and nieces.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her step-father Antonio Montellano, brothers, Alfred, Charlie, Mike, Paul, and David Williams, her husband in Christ, Charles Martinez Sr., son in law, Don Helsel, and daughter in law, Victoria.

Esther loved Yuma, she loved the heat. Although she traveled to visit far off places, she always returned to her home in Yuma and the community she loved. She will always be remembered as a kind, loving supportive mother. She was a Nana, Big Nana, Sister, Tia, and friend to many. Esther will be interred in the Yuma Pioneer Cemetery.


  • Margie "Patsy" Helsel, Daughter
  • Christine DeLeon, Daughter
  • Charles Martinez, Son
  • Frank Martinez, Son
  • Virginia Magallanes, Sister
  • Josephine Sandfrey, Sister
  • Mary Dooley, Sister
  • Gloria Rocha, Sister
  • Victor Montellano, Brother
  • Robert Williams, Brother
  • Guillermo Williams, Brother
  • Palmer Williams, Father
  • Margarita Ruiz, Mother
  • Margarita's memory will be cherished by her 15 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, many beloved cousins, nephews and nieces.

  • Frank Martinez
  • Gabriel Gutierrez
  • Rodolfo Martinez
  • William Martiniez
  • Brennan Martinez
  • Curtis Helsel
  • Charles Helsel
  • Richard Helsel
  • Robert Williams , Honorary Pallbearer
  • Victor Montellano , Honorary Pallbearer
  • Chuck Martinez, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Lupe De Leon, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Travis Helsel, Honorary Pallbearer


  • Visitation Friday, August 3, 2018
  • Recitation of the Holy Rosary Friday, August 3, 2018
  • Funeral Mass Saturday, August 4, 2018

Margarita Esther Martinez

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