John Martinez


John Martinez
04 May 1948 - 07 Oct 2020
Finest City Squares
Ocean Squares
Received 10 Year Medallion at Wish Upon A Thar in 2006


John was born on May 4 (Star Wars Day), 1948, in Paterson, New Jersey, and died at home around midnight in the early morning of Oct. 7, 2020, in San Diego, California.

John started square dancing in spring 1992 with Finest City Squares in San Diego, Ron Nelson calling. I started with the next class in fall 1992.

In 1993, we also started dancing with the Circulators, and joined that club.

I took a caller class at the Chicago convention and in 1996 we started Ocean Squares in Carlsbad dancing at Pilgrim United Church of Christ, with me calling. Carlsbad is about 30 miles north of downtown San Diego; we started Ocean Squares there to avoid conflict with Finest City Squares. Even so, there was some ill will with a few FCS members, who regarded Ocean Squares as invading "their" space ("Finest City Squares: San Diego's only Gay and Lesbian Square Dance Club"). We shut down Ocean Squares in 2010, not able to find anyone else to take it over. So John was a founding member of Ocean Squares, 1996-2010.

We danced off and on with quite a few of the other (hetero) clubs in the San Diego area. John danced up through Advanced, and I got through C-1 and half of C-2. John last danced three years ago, 2017, pulled through with a lot of help from the other dancers. Even after that, he came with me to the dances until the virus shut down FCS in March 2020.
Steven van Keuren, John's partner