SAN ANGELO, TX – As Airianna Martinez’s family and friends gathered to share their favorite stories about their sister and friend, it was easy to see the impact that Airianna had in their lives. Every single one the stories shared had one thing in common, the kindness and love that Airianna gave everyone in her life.
“She was a really nice and caring person. She loved everybody,” said sister Daniella Martinez.
“[She will be remembered by] how kind she was to everybody that she knew. No matter if she knew you her whole life or she had just met you that day, she was going to treat you the same way,” said Allison Martin.
Her tragic passing impacted her family, her friends, and her community; but her legacy will continue to live on forever in the hearts and memories of all those who had the opportunity to meet Airianna. From the stories we heard it was easy to see that Airianna was the type of person that made everyone feel welcome and loved.
“She molded to be whoever people needed her to be. She molded well with many people,” said Anna James
Her younger sisters, Alexis, Lynna, and Daniella spoke about the special bond they had with Airianna. As their big sister, Airianna was always there to uplift them and put a smile on their face. They will always remember her kindness, her humor, and the love they had for each other, especially during special occasions.
“She came to the house a week before thanksgiving to share the news that she had been accepted to ASU college and she was very excited,” said Daniella Martinez.
They will forever look back at the memories and moments they spent together. Days at the lake, going to the movies, baking cookies, and cupcakes, and surprise breakfasts will always be treasured by the Martinez sisters.
“She was always the laughter in the room & the sunshine,” said Lynna.
“She was always energic, and very funny, and she always had something good to say,” said Alexis.
Through tears and smiles, her friends described their friendships with Airianna and shed some light on the impact and difference that she made in their lives and everyone around her.
“A lot of people say that there are a lot of nice people in the world, but Airianna was different. She was a kind person. She sincerely wanted everyone to feel welcome and no matter what she made sure that you felt that way,” said friend Juliana Covey.
Several of her friends described their first encounters with her and more often than not they involved Airianna becoming their friend when they needed one the most. She was the girl who would approach the “new kid” at school and make them feel welcome. Many others in the group described meeting Airianna through mutual friends and then forming a close bond with her. She was the friend of a friend who became their best friend.
“Airianna was a bridge between me and other friends because everyone was linked through her. She brought our group together all the time,” said Jueun Jeong.
Every one of her friends had met Airianna during different times in their lives, but one thing always stayed; the love and loyalty she gave to all of her friends.
"She was so supportive, so positive, and always made everyone a better person. She was so selfless and gave everything for everyone else,” said Kara Montgomery.
Airianna was full of life and always looking for the next adventure, according to her friends.
“She was very adventurous, she pushed [us] out of [our] comfort zone,” said Anna James.
She loved her friends dearly and they enjoyed teasing each other and playing competitive rounds of Uno while drinking coffee.
“We had a lot of fun poking fun at each other, but also knew that no matter what we’d always be there for each other,” said Chloe Edinburgh.
She was dedicated and worked hard in every aspect of her life. Taking dual credit and AP courses and working a part-time job isn’t something many students would undertake, but Airianna made it work.
“Most people didn’t see the struggles that she went through and that made her work hard,” said Jaylen Hudson.
Airianna juggled her classes and her waitressing job at Hidalgo’s West while excelling in school. Even with a full schedule, she was always there for her friends when they needed her the most.
“Airianna was a very hard worker. Even when she had school, track, and work she always found time to help others,” said Valyssa Hartman.
Even if life became hectic and the friends didn’t have a chance to see each other as often they would like, they were able to pick up right where they left off.
For one of her best friends, saying goodbye to Airianna is grieving the loss of one of the most important and constant people in her life. For Jaylen Hudson, Airianna was more than her best friend she was more like a sister.
“I lost the very best person and no one, absolutely no one can ever fill me up the way that she did.”
Airianna and Jaylen not only attended Central High School together, but they also worked together at Hidalgos and more often than not worked the same shift, spending most of their day together. One of Jaylen’s favorite memories was making videos for social media with Jaylen during their breaks.
For everyone in Airianna’s life, her sudden death was devastating news, but they are left with the memories and lessons that she left behind. She showed everyone the value of true friendship and the impact a simple hello can have on someone’s life. She demonstrated the value of having a great work ethic and working hard to achieve your dreams. But most importantly telling our loved ones how much they mean to us every chance we get. Airianna was the type of person who would check on her friends and let them know she cared immensely for them.
“I think most people don’t say [I love you] enough to the people they care about. So always tell that person you love them,” said Avery Edinburgh.
As of Tuesday afternoon the GoFundMe page for Airianna had raised over $6,000.
The Concho Bass Club will be holding a benefit lunch on Saturday, December 21st begining at 12:00 p.m. Plates will be sold for $10 each and will feature bbq brisket with beans and potato salad.
Hidalgo's West on Sherwood Way will also be accepting donations at their location.
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