November 11, 1934 ~ March 23, 2019
Martin Castaneda Almaraz
It is with great sadness that the family of Martin Castaneda Almaraz announces his passing after his challenging bout with MDS Leukemia, on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at the age of 84.
Martin is a true native Gardena boy. He was born in a humble home near 182nd Street and Western Avenue and has flourished in Gardena all his life. He attended St. Anthony of Padua School and both Serra and Gardena High Schools. He married his high school sweetheart Maria in 1955 and the couple had 9 children. Martin C. Almaraz was gainfully employed for 44 Years at Gardena HITCO from 1956 to 2000 as an Engineer Technician.
From 1964 to 1974, Martin C. Almaraz served as the founding Cub Scout Pack leader 1074 then transitioned to the Boy Scout Troop as a leader. He was then awarded the Distinguished 5 Peaks Badge. He served four years as Parks and Recreation Commissioner for the City of Gardena, and two years as the Senior Citizens Commissioner. His responsibilities included the citizens best interests of Bell Park and South Park (now Arthur Johnson Park).
From 1978 to 1979, Martin C. Almaraz was the president of the Mexican American Civic Organization known as “MACO.” Along with wife Maria, they were founding members of the Gardena Police and Fireman’s Medal of Honor Monument Committee. From 1960 to 1990, he was a member of the Los Amigos Club; from 1994 to 2014, he was a member and current chair of the “Old Timers” (Gardena Heritage Club).
Martin C. Almaraz served as a Eucharist Minister for 20 years at St. Anthony of Padua. Martin was a member of the Gardena Elks Lodge for 23 years. In 2007 he was Exalted Ruler, later became Treasurer and spent two years as District Membership Chair. Martin was also a “proud member” of the Gardena Sister City Association for 30 years. The Almaraz family have served often as host family to visitors from Huatabampo, Mexico and Ichikawa, Japan. Martin’s final community projects were aiding the Abused Women’s Shelter with clothing/supplies every month and delivering bread weekly to the House of Yahweh Social Service Food Bank for many years.
Martin will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 63 years, Maria and his children Michael, Melissa, Mark (Dolores), Michelle (Mark), Marty, Matthew (Ruthy), Marcus (Sandie), Mitchel (Allison) and Marlene who welcomed her dad in heaven with open arms. Martin will also be fondly remembered by his 22 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. He will also be forever remembered by his brother, sisters, numerous nephews, nieces, God children, extended family and dear friends.
A viewing and rosary for Martin Castaneda Almaraz will be held at the Lighthouse Memorials and Receptions - McMillan Center, 1016 W. 164th Street Gardena, CA 90247 --- April 4th --- Viewing 3:00 ~ 7:00 PM --- Rosary ~ 7:00-9:00 PM
Funeral service at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, 1050 W. 163rd Street Gardena, Ca 90247 --- April 5th --- 9:30 AM
Burial rite moving to Holy Cross Cemetery, 5835 W. Slauson Avenue, Culver City, CA 90247 --- April 5th --- 11:15 AM
Reception for Martin Castaneda Almaraz following at Elks Lodge Gardena, 1735 W. 162nd Street ~ Gardena, CA 90247 --- April 5th --- 1:00 PM
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