Montezuma County VFW Auxiliary 5231 named Dolores Martinez, age 79, as 2021 Mancos Days Queen, according to a news release from Mayor Ellen “Queenie” Barz.
Martinez will be honored at a Queen's Tea at 1 p.m. Friday, July 23, at Mancos Community Center. The tea is open to the public. Martinez also will ride in the Mancos Days Parade and attend the luncheon in Boyle Park, where the auxiliary will draw the winning ticket for the annual Queen Quilt drawing.
The quilt hangs at the Dolores State Bank in Mancos, and tickets are available there or from any auxiliary member. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5.
Dolores Lobato Martinez moved to Mancos at the age of 10, and though her family moved away twice, it never lasted more than a few months.
When Martinez’s family first moved to Mancos in 1952, she joined Saint Rita’s Catholic Church and has been a member since. She was enrolled in Mancos Elementary, but her limited knowledge of English made it difficult to learn, Barz said in the news release. She later helped students whose native language was not English, and helped parents with school registration, parent-teacher conferences and tutoring.
Martinez graduated from Mancos High School in 1960 and married Raymond Martinez in 1963. They had three children – Ray, Paul and Pam — who also graduated from Mancos High School. Four of her six grandchildren graduated from Mancos High School ,and three of her 11 great-grandchildren are currently enrolled in Mancos Elementary, Barz said.
Martinez work at Mancos Elementary as an aide under Linda Simmons and taught Spanish for 14 years. When the school moved the elementary library from the high school to the elementary building, Martinez ran the library for 17 years. She eventually began working with children of students she taught Spanish to years before. Martinez retired in 2006 to take of her husband, who died in 2007 after 43 years of marriage.
In 2010, Dolores was a founding member of the Mancos Alumni Scholarship Association. She led fundraising efforts that provided 17 graduates with scholarships, Barz said. adding that although she stepped down in 2018, Dolores continued to support remaining members.
Martinez enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading taking walks, sewing and traveling throughout the United States and internationally. She has sewn a quilt for nearly everyone in her family and sewed masks during the coronavirus pandemic.
Martinez’s mother was named Mancos Days Queen in 2014.