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Stephen Martinelli

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Ave Maria Memorial Chapel

609 Main Street
Watsonville, CA 95076
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“Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always. ”
1 of 12 | Posted by: A. H. - NC

“Mr. John Martinelli and family please receive our most deeply condolences. Your father was an excellent individual and we'll miss him. Sincerely your...Read More »
2 of 12 | Posted by: Francisco Rodriguez - Watsonville, CA

La Selva Beach “Sending my deepest sympathy for your loss to the Martinelli family. May Stephen rest in peace. ”
3 of 12 | Posted by: Doris Correll - Watsonville, CA

“So Sorry for your family's loss ”
4 of 12 | Posted by: Ron Jennings - Watsonville, CA

“Extending our deepest sympathies to The Martinelli Family ”
5 of 12 | Posted by: Stephanie Bokariza Ivanov - FL

“The family of Leo and Bonnie Caudill send their condolences, prayers and love to all the Martinelli Family. Your family is a blessing to ours! God...Read More »
6 of 12 | Posted by: Bill Caudill - Vancouver, WA

“My deepest condolences to the Martinelli Family. You are in my thoughts and prayers. ”
7 of 12 | Posted by: Trish Lynch - Hollister, CA

“My father, Jose Mejia, worked for the Martinelli family from 1963-1988. My family and I were raised on Martinelli Dpsrkling cider and juice and...Read More »
8 of 12 | Posted by: Abel Mejia - Watsonville, CA

“Sending my thoughts and prayers to the Martinelli Family. ”
9 of 12 | Posted by: Wendy Witmer Wallace - Fairfield, CA

“My condolences to the entire Martinelli family. May he rest in peace. ”
10 of 12 | Posted by: Lorena G-Mtz - Los Banos, CA

“i'm so glad you were in your beautiful home on the lake during your last days...rest in peace... ”
11 of 12 | Posted by: nance garnett - kula,maui, HI

“To all the family, Stephen was truly the kindest and most gentle human being I have ever known and our family is so grateful to have known him. Our...Read More »
12 of 12 | Posted by: Patrice and Paul Kosmoski - WI


Stephen C. Martinelli, the former President of S. Martinelli & Co, died peacefully at home at the ripe old age of 87 on November 28th, surrounded by his loving family.

He represented the third generation of the award-winning apple juice and sparkling cider company that was founded by his grandfather, Stephen G. Martinelli in 1868. He joined the family owned and operated business as an Assistant Manager in 1955. During his 58 years at Martinelli's, Stephen achieved many noteworthy accomplishments and became head of the company when his father passed away in 1962.

Stephen led the company through a growth period that stressed the family resources trying to keep up with the demand for their gold medal juice products. In the process, Stephen developed strong personal relationships with our local growers with handshake agreements to grow the most flavorful tree-ripened apples in the Pajaro Valley. He employed his artistic skills, developed during the radio era of his childhood, designing labels and packaging by hand including the Old Timer Hard Cider label, a family favorite from the 1960s and 70s.

Prior to joining Martinelli's, he graduated from his beloved CAL with a degree in Business Administration. He loved to tell people he played in the Rose Bowl during three of his four years at CAL…as a clarinet player in the marching band! He then served three years as an Air Intelligence Naval Officer, working side by side with future astronauts Wally Schirra and James Lovell.

Stephen was a gentle, generous, humble and sometimes solitary man. He enjoyed fishing, snow skiing and especially tennis with his family and close friends. He was an avid reader and loved to clip important articles from the Wall Street Journal that were helpful in guiding his business management strategies. Stephen loved being a sports fan, enduring the down years of his beloved San Francisco Giants and 49ers, while celebrating their eventual successes. He had a great sense of humor that was passed onto his kids and grandkids.

Stephen was the son of Stephen G. Martinelli, Jr., and Hazel Martinelli and he had two sisters, Doris Brown and Alice Kett. His cherished wife of 55 years Patricia (Silliman) Martinelli, passed away in 2009. Stephen is survived by his three children, John (Megan), Janet (Jeff Shaw) and Robert (Nancy), as well as his eleven grandchildren, Katie (Gibson Hadley), Kelly, Karen, Anna, Philip (Sandy), Louie, Laura, Sam, Raymond, Stella and Miles.

A private celebration of life will be held after the first of the year.

The family asks that memorial gifts be made to Jacob's Heart headquartered at 680 West Beach street, Watsonville, CA 95076.