Always smiling

Senior remembered for positive attitude


Story by Staff

Senior Ulises Martinez didn’t have to say much to make an impact on others. Instead, his smile did the work for him. Because of his effortless likeability and compassionate heart, he brought positivity to the room, no matter the time or the situation. 

Ulises Martinez, 17, died Oct. 25 in Texarkana, Texas. 

Ulises’ smile carried over into his workplace, DECA teacher Pam Hamilton said.

“He worked at Taco Bueno, and they always called him ‘Smiley,’” Hamilton said. “He wasn’t the most talkative, but he always had a smile on his face, and the customers would come in and be like, ‘Where’s Smiley?’” 

He played soccer for Texas High for three years, earning the respect from his fellow teammates and coaches.

“Soccer came naturally to him, something he loved to do. Injured or anything else going on in his life, the one thing he wanted to do or make time for was to play soccer and be around his friends,” head soccer coach Zak McCarthy said. “I believe that is testament not only to the love that he felt for his teammates but the love that he received from them.”

Even though his schedule wouldn’t allow him to be in the soccer period, he still tried to be part of the team.

“He really wanted to play soccer, and they didn’t have room in his schedule, but he went to practice anyway at 7 in the morning,” Hamilton said. “Most kids wouldn’t put out the extra effort to do that.” 

For junior Ally Smith, it was Ulises’ compassion for others that made an impression on her. Smith met Ulises her freshman year in art class, and he was a source of comfort when she faced difficult times.

“He would check on me everyday when my dad died and give me a hug every day,” Smith said. “He was a really loving person who took out time to check on others.”

In addition to his care for others, Smith said he always made those in her class laugh.

“[My favorite memory] is our class because we would always joke around in there,” Smith said. “It made the class fun.”

The Holy Rosary will be recited at 6 p.m. today at Texarkana Funeral Home, 3515 Texas Blvd., in Texarkana Texas. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with burial in Holy Cross Cemetery.  

“He was always respectful and sweet,” teacher Katie Diaz said. “No matter what was going on, he always had a smile on his face. He’s a really great kiddo, and his presence will be missed here.”