ASHTABULA, Ohio — Hector Martinez left a lasting impression on all of his students over the four decades he taught music in both Texas and Ohio, and after his death last year, those at Lakeside High School wanted to honor his life and legacy—doing so at the homecoming football game Friday night.
Through more than 40 years of teaching music, Martinez helped inspire and mold many performers and current music teachers. He even composed the alma mater at Sandusky St. Mary Central Catholic High School.
Martinez, who in addition to teaching music to children also served in the U.S. Army Air Corps, died last December after a long illness. He was 93 years old.
Due to the pandemic, only a small memorial service for family could be held, but Lakeside High School and the community that so loved Martinez wanted to make sure he was honored in a bigger way when it was possible.
As part of the special tribute for Martinez during Friday's game, the current band director worked with students and alumni to play several of Martinez's favorite songs during halftime.
During the halftime show, Martinez's director's hat sat on the podium that he spent years directing the band from.
The tribute was special to the community, but also to Martinez's family who were in attendance at the game.
"Even though he commanded respect, he gave respect in return and that's how I would love for people to remember him and I do believe everyone in this town does remember and respect my dad not only as a musician and a teacher but also as a friend and as a beloved member of the community," said his daughter Laura Martinez Massie.