February 26, 1959 – December 19, 2020
Valdemar (Val) Martins was born February 26, 1959 in Kitimat, BC to Portuguese parents, Jaime and Maria Martins who were reunited a year prior after being separated for two years when Jaime immigrated from the Azores in search of a better life for their family in Canada.
An ever-curious child, Val was always taking apart bicycles, radios, and kitchen appliances; fascinated by their innerworkings and determined to understand how every intricate piece operated despite protest from his parents. It was no surprise to his family when Val undertook a heavy-duty mechanics apprenticeship in 1980 together with many of his lifelong friends.
In 1982, Val married his wife, Mary, and in 1988, they welcomed their only child, Michelle. Val not only named his daughter, but he was also the first to hold her forming an unwavering bond between the two of them. While Val and Mary ultimately ended their marriage in 2009, they spent most of their adult lives growing, laughing, and learning together.
Like his mother, Val loved music and often reminisced about the days he spent in his youth driving his Road Runner with reckless abandon to concerts in Vancouver. As a family man, Val channeled his adoration for music into making dozens of mix tapes for family road trips.
Known for his work ethic, Val was a dedicated Rio Tinto employee for over 40 years; he enjoyed the work he did and even more so, the people he worked alongside.
Val was a critical thinker enamored by current events and spent many evenings discussing the news of the day, gleefully playing devil’s advocate if nothing else to get a sarcastic rise out of his daughter.
It would be these dinner table discourses that would inspire Michelle to pursue a career in the non-profit sector. Although Val was incredibly pragmatic, he encouraged Michelle to chase her passions, acting as a constant sounding board through all of her endeavours.
Val is predeceased by his parents, and sister, Maria Luisa, all of whom passed with Val present during their final moments.
Val passed peacefully the morning of December 19 (like the early bird he was!), with his cousin, Manuel, who was a brother to him, by his side.
In lieu of flowers, as Val suffered many chronic illnesses throughout his life, the Martins family asks those who would like to honour Val’s memory, to do so by donating to any of the following charities:
Kidney Foundation of Canada
BC Cancer Society
Since Val had many pals, his family is waiting until it is safe to hold a larger gathering to celebrate the life of a man who unknowingly touched so many.
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