Joanna “Jay” Martinez, 31, passed away peacefully on May 12th, 2020 in Clearwater from an unknown cause. Born in Tampa, Jay attended Chamberlain H.S. and earned a GED while pregnant with her daughter, Brianna. Immensely artistic with an aptitude for details, Jay was passionate about becoming a barber and attended the American Institute of Beauty. Naturally gifted and successful at anything she attempted, Jay was known for her distinctive style and the ability to make others feel good with humor, haircuts, and shaped eyebrows. A lover of animals, Jay also hoped to work as a dog trainer.
Jay Martinez had a vivacious personality and always made the people around her laugh. No matter the setting, Jay brought light to all those she encountered. Genuine to a fault, Jay was a lion at heart. Despite the hardships life dealt her, she exuded optimism and warmth. She happily conversed with people from all walks of life. Jay also had a special kinship with animals, able to bond immediately with the most frightened or challenging creature. Her partner recalls numerous instances of rescuing strays, stating that treats and crates became vehicle staples since outings with Jay were often redirected to attend to distressed animals. “She was the patron saint of animals. For some reason, hurt or scared animals would appear as though they knew Jay would help find their owner, provide food/shelter, or take them to receive medical care.” Jay was innocently unaware that she had the same affect on people drawing all those around her with a warm smile and empathetic nature. Jay probably believed her best attribute was her looks, but those unable to see past her superficial beauty missed her real gifts; a radiant essence, boundless talent, and the capacity for good. Jay championed the underdog, the disadvantaged, and those with special needs. Never harboring malice or with judgement, she saw the best in everyone and gave others the benefit of the doubt; a courtesy not often shown to her throughout her life.
Jay is survived by her partner, Stephanie Ragusa of Clearwater, her biological daughter Brianna Bourdon, Sister Adriana Borrego and family in Tampa, and four-legged children Luna, Bella, Gracie, and Angel. Jay would want to be remembered as the consummate fresh-starter, making a comeback for every setback. She would remind all of us that remain to live, love, laugh for tomorrow is never promised.
In lieu of flowers, please donate a memorial gift to the ASPCA, Humane Society or PETA. Look for the Jay Martinez Memorial Fund where applicable.
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