Samuel Spencer Martinez, 44, unexpectedly passed away, peacefully, surrounded by loved ones on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sam entered the world earlier than planned on July 18, 1976 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was lovingly raised, along with his four older siblings (Benny, John, Shonna, and Dan), by their wonderful parents Benjamin and Meredith Austin Martinez.
Sam grew up in Bountiful, Utah on an idyllic street lined with beautiful trees. Many happy days were spent playing games and creating mischief with the neighborhood kids. One of his favorite things to do was sneak apricots from the trees overhanging the backyard fence and quickly escaping before being caught. In the summer months, he would fill the middle of apricots with ice cream for a refreshing treat. His steadfast parents created a home filled with love, laughter, and happiness. He loved reminiscing about road trips they took while he was in his youth, particularly an epic trip to Texas.
His young years were spent in Mexico, where his parents served as mission president and companion. He would often be found playing ping-pong with the office elders, a skill that would only increase as he aged and make it hard to beat him in a game. Sam was a busy child, one time painting an entire mission home room, their dog, and himself white! He recollected that the removal of the paint was not an experience that he would want to endure again.
Throughout all his life he enjoyed any type of athletics, but particularly soccer and golf. He earned the nickname of "Grasshopper" for the way he played soccer on the field. In later years, he loved coaching his children's soccer teams, with one of his daughter's teammates once exclaiming, "The only game we ever won was the one he coached!" He also loved the season he coached the boy’s soccer team at Virgin Valley High School.
One of the treasured experiences of his life was serving in the San Juan Puerto Rico mission from 1996-1998. He particularly loved the perspective and knowledge he gained from President Jesus Nieves. Sam loved recounting mission stories around the dinner table. He was a master story-teller and was able to bring humor into any conversation.
Sam was a very gentle soul, kind to the core, and always willing to help those in need. He radiated peace and calm, having the ability to put others at ease, simply because they were in his presence. He married Annjeanette Guerra on August 5, 1999 in the Portland Oregon Temple. Their life was filled with love, laughter, and one of Sam's favorite things: hypothetical situations, which would usually cause Annjeanette to chuckle and lovingly roll her eyes. They loved watching movies together but the best part of that was quoting movie lines together and no one else would know what they were talking about. They supported and strengthened each other through many of life’s pursuits, a life filled with all the happiness and sorrow that mortality has to offer.
Six beautiful children joined them over the years. They were Sam's joy. His children adored him and would always light up when he was with them. He will be deeply missed by Christian Spencer, Shayla Rachelle, Olivia Grace, Emma Kathryn, Scott Austin, and Julia Meredith. They loved his stories, humor, goofy faces and sounds, and taking Sunday evening walks as a family. They inherited his love of fish, homemade gravy, ice cream, and all the tart fruits. We will never be able to eat Skittles or Starburst candies without remembering him. We will also smile when thinking about his strong dislike of peanut butter, pickles, and early mornings.
Sam loved the practice of law. Schooling took them to Valparaiso, Indiana for three years where some dear and lasting friendships were made. After graduation, Sam worked tirelessly for the cause of justice as a Chief Deputy District Attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada. He had the ability to connect with victims in a way no one else could. He devoted his professional life to using the law to help those people find some measure of peace after heartbreaking circumstances. He was greatly loved by all who had the pleasure of working with him. His presence will be tremendously missed at the office.
Sam is survived by his forever wife, Annjeanette, and their six wonderful children: Christian (20), Shayla (17), Olivia (15), Emma (12), Scott (10), and Julia (7); his father, Benjamin (Salt Lake City, UT); siblings and their spouses: Benny and Dana (Chelsea, AL), John and Laurie (Rigby, ID), Shonna and Mike Linford (Salt Lake City, UT), Dan and Ileana (Sandy, UT); nieces, nephews, in-laws, and many extended family members. He was preceded in death by his beloved mother, Meredith, and his grandparents. We know that their reunion was a joyous one and we are so thankful for the plan of salvation.
Funeral services will be Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 11 am at the Mesquite Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 100 N. Arrowhead Mesquite, NV. A viewing where friends may call will be Friday, June 4 from 6-8 pm at the Stake Center. Friends may also call Saturday morning from 9:30-10:30 am. Interment will be at the Heber City cemetery in Heber City, Utah under the direction of Virgin Valley Mortuary.
Words can not adequately express the gratitude we have to those medical professionals who lovingly cared for Sam. We also wish to express our thanks to all those who have given service to us at this time. There are too many to personally name but we love you all!
"We'll share a pew, me and you.
"Sounds divine and holy.
"Same to you."
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Samuel Spencer Martinez, please visit our floral store.