PUEBLO — Family members, friends, and loved ones gathered to remember the life of 65-year-old Rita J. Martinez, a woman who people say spent her life advocating for others.
Martinez's life was cut short when she passed away from COVID-19 on Thursday, December 10th.
"There has been such an out pour and cry for grief and sorrow for my mother," said Vicente Martinez Ortega, Rita's son.
On Saturday evening, a candlelit vigil was held at Rita's household, all to remember and pray for Rita's life and the impact she made in the city of Pueblo.
"She was a huge advocate for change. She was a catalyst for a lot of these young folks who are coming up to find their focus in life," said Martinez.
A voice for the voiceless.
"Those folks who didn't know how to go about telling the right person the right thing with the change they wanted," said Martinez.
Son of Martinez, Vicente Martinez Ortega, says one of the most difficult things for him will be, "Seeing who she touched and how they have grown from what they have learned from her. I get to see it, but my mom doesn't."
However, Martinez says his mother's motives and actions are pushing him to step up.
"We can't just rely on one woman to organize an entire community of events and issues," said Martinez.
He says he will do this by continuing on the legacy that his mother left.
"We are here together. We are stronger together and we are determined and organized. We have so much to be grateful for that Rita gave us," said Martinez.