Tawan Wakan Daniel Martinez

tawan martinez
Tawan Wakan Daniel Martinez, 37, died Thursday, October 30, 2014 in his home in Long Beach, California. Tawan had been diagnosed with brain cancer sixteen months earlier, and his difficult journey inspired his many loyal friends and loving family members to live every day to the fullest. He was born January 29, 1977, in Sacramento, California, the son of Edward Martinez and Sandra Pevler. The first of his family to graduate from college, Tawan proudly earned his bachelor's degree in Communications with a double minor in Fine Arts and Business from the University of Southern California. He then embarked on a career in sales and operations with a focus on environmentally-friendly industries, such as water filtration and most recently, solar power. As Regional Sales Manager at REC Solar, Tawan quickly led his sales team to first place despite becoming increasingly ill with symptoms that were later realized to be advanced brain cancer. Tawan's greatest ambition was to create an ethically sound business model across all industries, which he conceived as "The B.I.G. Initiative," that could harness corporate success for the greater good. He had a huge heart and an amazingly bright spirit. Countless people have said with sincerity that Tawan was the nicest man they had ever met. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather Paul Martinez; maternal grandfather James Bush; father-in-law Ric Federico, and cousins Billy Maguire and Travis Whalen. He is survived by his wife Nicole Marie Federico Martinez and son Valen Wakan James Martinez; parents Edward Martinez and Sandra Pevler; stepmother Judith Whalen; paternal grandparents Robert and Carmen Harnish; maternal grandmother Mary Bush; mother-in-law Janet Federico Smith and stepfather-in-law Gehrett Smith; siblings John Willey, Angela Erickson, Shawna Holm, Joshua Martinez, and Tawnya Martinez; brothers-in-law Marc Federico and wife Dana, and Matthew Federico and wife Tina; plus numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. There will be a celebration of Tawan's life on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at Torrance Beach from 2-5pm. Please dress casual & colorful and bring a beach towel or beach chair. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to his young son Valen's educational fund. Donations to Valen Martinez / memo - Franklin Templeton 529 Account may be mailed to USC Credit Union Attn: Tom Tan, 3720 South Flower Street 1st Floor Los Angeles, CA 90089. Tawan's family has entrusted his care to the White & Day/Rice Mortuary, 5310 Torrance Blvd. Torrance, CA 90503, 310-792-7599.

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  1. In my life, I love you more.

    I love you with every ounce of my heart and soul. Thank you for everything, my sweet Tawan.

    Love you baby, always…


    • I’m sorry , I am so very sorry. Tawan and I were childhood friends. He was my best friend. As my oldest son is set to graduate high school this year, I was thinking of myself at his age, my mind was consumed with thoughts of Tawan. I came across the TKE memorial for Tawan. I couldn’t believe it. My world hasn’t been the same since. I can’t express how sad and sorry I am Nicole. You guys are a beautiful family and I thank the universe for bringing Tawan into my existence and forever in my heart. I know it’s been ten years but finding out 2 days ago it just hurts. I hurt for you and your son. You were so lucky and still are to have him. I know he felt lucky to have you. He was and will always be the best man and my best friend. I love you Tawan. Originator and the regulator.
      Thank you Nicole I wish you happiness and blessings upon your and Tawan’s son.

  2. Tawan more loved than anyone I know, kinder than anyone I know. Will be forever missed! I love you man! Shelley

  3. I still can hardly believe it…I miss you…and no one compares with you, Tawan. Thanks for being my other boy…and my son’s amazing best friend. Love, love…

  4. When Christi’s dear friend Jackie died, also from GBM…you sent me a condolence card with your love. Thank you, my sweet young friend. I hope you and Jackie are having a good Trojan reunion in heaven…

  5. My deepest condolences to the Martinez family, may you find comfort knowing that Tawan is in God’s memory and his beautiful promise in Isaiah 25:8 to soon cease all death and suffering.

  6. I just discovered his passing when searching for Tawan for a friend. I don’t know how much this will mean as I was only a solar client of his, but Tawan touched my family’s life with his warmth as he shared the feelings of becoming a dad. It sounds trite, but we are saddened by his death and cannot imagine how it must be to have a light like that extinguished so early. He was a good man in a world with too few.

  7. Tawan my beautiful sweet son who I miss every single day I can’t wait to see you again you’re in my heart always you’re such a special special man I love you with all my heart all the way around and back love your mom

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