January 29, 1977 ~ October 30, 2014
Long Beach, CA
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.