Martin Marquez, 66, a polarizing community advocate who for decades rocked the status quo in Miami Springs, died suddenly of heart failure on Saturday.
“Martin fought hard over the decades for the community he loved so much,” said Kathie Marquez, his wife of 38 years. “Even his political enemies loved and respected him.”
Martin and Kathie Marquez each unsuccessfully sought city council seats in April, a run that raised doubt from the Miami-Dade ethics commission as to whether the married couple could both serve and at the same time uphold Florida’s strict Sunshine Law.
During the campaign, Martin Marquez marched to the beat of a different drummer. Instead of hanging “unsightly political yard signs,” he asked supporters to tie yellow ribbons on their doors in an effort to “make Miami Springs great again”
Recently, after his “pacemaker went off,” Marquez kept the pressure on City Hall — from his hospital bed.
“So, they came up with bold plan to circumvent the zoning code,” Marquez emailed the Miami Herald two weeks ago.
Marquez rallied his troops to City Hall and said he looked forward to a “court challenge.”
As an architect, Marquez said he felt it was his duty to preserve the “low-density, single family residential way of life in Miami Springs.”
Marquez requested in his will that “Save the Springs” be etched on his grave marker.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time,” Miami Springs City Manager William Alonso said Saturday.
A wake for Marquez will be 6:30 to 10 p.m. Monday; services will be 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at Bernardo Garcia funeral home, 865 W. 49th St., Hialeah. For details, call 305-557-1010.