Caltech Mourns the Passing of Robert (Larry) Martinez
Robert (Larry) Martinez was a Caltech employee of more than 34 years who dedicated his career to supporting the health, safety, and well-being of all members of the campus community. Larry passed away on Friday, April 21, 2023.Over decades of service in roles as a safety engineer and hazardous materials coordinator for the Institute's Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) group, Larry lent technical expertise and knowledge of safety conditions and potential hazards to laboratories, facilities, and students and employees across the Institute. He consulted on many improvement projects at campus, at Caltech's off-site observatories, and at the Kerckhoff Marine Laboratory. Larry also advised on laboratory procedures, hazard assessments and inspections, and conducted trainings with researchers, students, and personnel across campus. Larry also served as the primary liaison for EH&S with the campus security team and the Pasadena Fire Department.
His colleagues and friends remember him as a quiet, thoughtful mentor who supported and guided new colleagues as they came on board. He was caring, patient, and a good listener who built relationships and found common ground for connection easily.
Outside of his professional roles, Larry was well known for sharing his passion for food and barbecuing. He was an avid entertainment consumer, quick to offer recommendations for music and movies, and he also enjoyed fishing. Larry is survived by his mother, Charlene Chindlund; his sister, GiGi Gianakos; and three children, Krystal Hernandez, Christian Joshua Hernandez, and Jazmin Hernandez
He will be sorely missed by his family, friends, colleagues, and mentees.