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Travis Anthony Martinez (December 30, 1982 - October 30, 2023)
Travis Anthony Martinez, a beacon of love, dedication, and service, left an indelible mark on the lives of those who were fortunate to know him. Travis embodied a life of unwavering devotion and wholehearted commitment to his country, community and above all, his family. Travis was ambitious, loving, an extraordinary and irreplaceable son, father, husband, friend, mentor, and fearless leader. He lost half his life to a military service-connected illness, but he shall never be extinguished from our minds.
Surrounded by the warmth of family and the embrace of his wife Kristyn Martinez, daughter D’yala Martinez, mother Peggy Dunagan, step father Daniel Dunagan, sister Candice McCollom and brother-in-law Robert James McCollom; Travis's legacy is through the countless lives he touched.
Travis’s death was preceded by his father Anthony Martinez, sister Shannan Dunagan, grandparents Tim Patterson and Ruby Patterson, and grandparents Robert Martinez and Gloria Martinez.
His journey began in Snowflake, Arizona on December 30, 1982. While he traveled various corners of the globe, his heart was at home in the Bitterroot Valley, where his ancestors settled nearly a century ago.
A visionary from a young age, Travis harbored dreams of entrepreneurship, launching small ventures that foreshadowed the determined spirit which defined his life. While living in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, he became the city's youngest paperboy, earning recognition on the front page for his achievement.
Travis's commitment to community and country blossomed early, evident in his leadership within the Civil Air Patrol from 1994 to 1996 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Travis was awarded Cadet of the Year for the State of Idaho in 1996.
He heard the call to join the United States Army Reserve in 2000, when he was 17 years old. He attended basic training between his junior and senior year of high school.
After graduating from Darby High School, Travis attended the University of Montana, studying political science.
In February 2003, he was mobilized with his Army Reserve Unit (478th Personnel Services Battalion) to Fort Carson, Colorado, where he was the NCO in charge of Field Operations for the 7th Infantry Division.
Upon release from active duty, Travis was a Department of Defense Contractor for Casualty Affairs, coordinating next of kin notifications for the Iraq War.
Travis deployed to the Republic of Korea in July 2004, as a Psychological Operations Advisor.
In December 2004, Travis was mobilized with the Army Reserves to Iraq. Staff Sergeant “Marty” led a Psychological Operations Tactical Team with the 324th Psychological Operations Company, working alongside the 101st Airborne Division, 132nd Calvary Squadron, 3rd and 4th Infantry Divisions, 7th and 10th Special Forces Groups.
Travis dedicated his post-military life to a successful real estate career, opening his own brokerage firm and teaching real estate throughout the State of Montana. His love for teaching left a profound impact on his industry.
Travis won the heart and mind of his future wife and business partner, Kristyn, and they married on Valentines Day 2008. In 2010, they welcomed their daughter, D’yala, proudly named after the area he served in Iraq.
Earning a Bachelor of Science in organizational leadership, Travis graduated Cum Laude from National American University.
His accolades, including the Bitterroot Building Industry Association 2008 Associate of the Year, Bitterroot Valley Board of Realtors 2014 and 2016 Realtor of the Year, underscored his commitment to excellence. Travis served for years on the Montana Association of Realtors Property Management, Government Affairs, Forms and Risk Management Committees and was President of the Bitterroot Valley Board of Realtors in 2016.
Beyond professional success, Travis's community impact reached far and wide. Serving as Hamilton City Councilor from 2016 through 2020, being Council President for 2018 and 2019, he took pride in supporting his hometown.
Travis was Past Director and Treasurer for the Bitter Root Water Forum. For many years, he ran in the Run for the River 5K to raise awareness, with his wife and daughter alongside him.
His philanthropic efforts extended to mentoring at Big Brothers Big Sisters, coaching youth soccer, and raising awareness for various causes, including Colontown and Camp Kesem at Montana State University.
Travis Anthony Martinez, a proud and humble soldier, family man and hopeless romantic, will forever be remembered for his unwavering spirit. A true patriot, he aspired to live up to the US Army values each day and encouraged others to do so. His optimism, resilience, and stoic leadership persisted until his last breath, leaving an everlasting imprint on those who had the privilege of knowing him. May his legacy inspire us all to live as he did, with purpose and devotion to others.
Services for Travis will be at Daly-Leach Memorial in Hamilton, Montana on December 8th at 2:00 p.m.
In lieu of gifts, we ask you to donate to Camp Kesem and Paltown’s Colontown community.