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Carmen Martinez Gay

Obituary for Carmen Martinez Gay

April 6, 1934 - August 18, 2021
San Mateo, California | Age 87


Carmen Martinez Gay, age 87, passed away peacefully on August 18, 2021, at home with her family by her side.

Carmen was born April 6, 1934 in Santurce, Puerto Rico. She graduated from Barry College in Miami, Florida, in 1955 with a BA in French and minors in Education and English. Upon graduating, she was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship (a first for a student from Barry College) and spent a year studying French Education at the University of Aix-Marseille, France.

Carmen was strong, resilient, fiercely loyal, highly intelligent, energetic, knew everything there was to know about the British and Spanish Royals, and she was an avid reader. From junior high English teacher to high school French teacher in Puerto Rico, to English and French tutor in France to Training Supervisor for Stanley Home Products in France and subsequently in the United States, Carmen spent her entire career teaching and learning in one form or another.

After moving to San Mateo, California, Carmen became an active member of the Senior Center where she participated in the Choir and the Latino Group each week and loved to attend movie screenings. She made many good friends who were near and dear to her heart.

People were naturally drawn to Carmen. She was the life of the party and a great conversationalist. She loved to dance as a young woman and in later years relished telling the story of how she won the all night dancing contest during her first sea voyage to France. But possibly even more than dancing, she loved to sing and always enjoyed herself as a member of the choir.

Carmen was devoted to her family. A dutiful and caring mother, she was unwavering in her loyalty to her children. When they moved from France to Miami, she worked tirelessly to ensure that they had a stable home life and everything they needed and above all, that they could benefit from the best possible education. Carmen was also especially close to her younger sister. Idalia was born the day of Carmen's First Communion and Carmen took that as a sign that her sister was a gift from God. The sisters were as close as could be, even when thousands of miles apart.

Carmen was preceded in death by her parents Isidro and Francisca, her brother Nelson, her former husband Jean-Claude, and her beloved sister Idalia.

She is survived by her son Jean-Philippe Gay, her daughter and son-in-law Isabelle and Kevin Haithcox, her grandchildren Justin Haithcox, Eve, Luc, and Eric Gay, her brother and sister-in-law Candido and Josefina Martinez, and nieces, nephews, many cousins and dear friends.

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Sneider & Sullivan & O'Connell's Funeral Home - FD-230

977 S. El Camino Real
San Mateo, CA 94402
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