Dr. Rudy D. Martinez, “Unkie”, passed away on March 21, 2023 at Katy Memorial Herman Hospital in Katy, TX. Rudy was born on January 17, 1950 in Galveston, TX to Rudolpho and Isabel Martinez. A 1968 graduate of Galveston Ball High School, Rudy went onto play football at Lamar University where he received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees. He went on to receive his doctoral degree from the University of South Carolina Columbia in 2004.
Engineering eventually became his primary passion in life, but Rudy enjoyed many interests in his younger years. Rudy loved to surf in his youth, and his engineering mind showed itself at an early age when he turned his father’s garage into his surfboard shop where he designed smaller, sleeker, and more aerodynamic surfboards a decade before their time.
Rudy also loved the outdoors, hunting and fishing when he could. Duck hunting and shark fishing were his favorites, and he passed this passion onto his nephew. It was not uncommon to see Rudy plucking goose feathers in front of his house with small feathers floating down the street. Rudy loved to exercise as well; He was an avid runner and cyclist, and had one of the most extreme exercise regiments even into his 60’s; His motto was, “Never miss a workout.” His engineering mind showed itself again by finding ways to build floating duck blinds or making modifications to his bikes and exercise equipment.
After college Rudy put his engineering mind to work at Farmers Marine Corp, where he spent almost two decades. But Rudy’s thirst for knowledge led him away from Farmers to pursue a Doctorate degree in Engineering from the University of South Carolina Columbia in 2004. Rudy went on to become a professor at Texas A&M University Galveston for over 13 years teaching advanced engineering courses.
Rudy’s engineering endeavors allowed him to design and build custom tools for the NASA space program and he designed and bult ultra high-pressure systems for the oil and gas industry. While teaching at A&M Rudy received the Chancellor Michael D. McKinney Teaching Excellence award in 2010, the Presidents Meritorious Service Award for Classroom Teaching in 2012, and he was nominated in 2017 for the Chief Operations Officer Teaching award. In 2019, the University honored Rudy as “Professor Emeritus.”
Rudy was preceded in death by his father Rudolpho Martinez and Mother Isabell Martinez. He is survived by his sister Maria Paysse, niece Nicole and Scott (husband) Samuelsen and great nieces Haley and Hannah Samuelsen, nephew Henry and Abigail (wife) Paysse and great nieces Lily and Rose Paysse.
Visitation will be held at 10AM Monday April 3, 2023, followed by a celebration of life at 11AM at J Levy & Termini Funeral Home, 2128 Broadway St. Galveston, TX 77550, with Deacon Robert Standridge officiating. Memorials or donations may be made in Rudy’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association.
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