Obituary: Felicia Martinez

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Felicia Martinez was born on Aug. 27, 1956, in Albuquerque, NM, and died Nov. 8, 2020, in Los Angeles after a prolonged illness. She was the fourth daughter of five children born into a loving and talented family. She was aptly named Felicia, which means “happiness,” after her Italian maternal grandmother. Her father, Marty, was a career officer in the U.S. Army while her mother Nancy was a full-time mom. The family moved often, including cross country, following her father’s military assignments. In 1963, they settled in Encino, Calif., after Marty’s retirement and transition from military to civilian life. 

Felicia spent her childhood and teenage years there with three older sisters, Laurene, Geralyn, Barbara, and little brother Richard. She was an alumna of Our Lady of Grace Elementary School in Encino and Corvallis High School in Studio City. After graduation, Felicia attended Santa Barbara City College and it was there she discovered her passion for what would become her life’s work, after taking a photography class. She enrolled at Art Center College in Pasadena where she would perfect her craft and meet mentors and friends in her chosen field. 

Felicia had an artistic eye, particularly gifted in portrait and food photography. She was well established and had a photography studio in Santa Monica for the next 40 years. Her camera was her constant companion. 

Felicia met Craig Mattox in the 1980s and they were married in 1991. Felicia and Craig moved to Paradise Cove Malibu in the mid 1980s, where they raised their two children, Pearl (28) and Veronica (24). Craig died suddenly in a diving accident in 2016. 

Felicia was a bright, charismatic individual who brought love and happiness to everyone around her, her loved ones will remember. She loved traveling and spending time at the beach. Her handmade spaghetti and clams and deviled eggs were legendary. “She was a wonderful wife and mother, a kind daughter, a loving sister and a devoted friend,” her loved ones said. “Her sunny presence, quick wit, and gentle spirit will never be forgotten. We will miss you always, Sweet Felicia, aka ‘Leash.’”