Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Stanford Martin and Freda Hernandez Tribute
Posted: April 25, 2020

Stanford Martin. Family photo

A Navajo Nation family in New Mexico is mourning the passing of two siblings who lost their lives within days of one another.

Stanford Martin died of complications from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, on April 18, 2020, family members said. His sister, Freda Hernandez, succumbed to the virus on April 22.

“With the loss of two, Freda’s family is facing not only emotional pain but financially,” her husband, George Hernandez, wrote on GoFundMe.

Stanford was a security guard at Isleta Resort and Casino, which is owned by the Pueblo of Isleta. According to a social media forum run by a former tribal council member, at least 3 security workers at the facility, including Martin, have tested positive for COVID-19.

The casino is located less than 10 miles south of Albuquerque, the most populous city in New Mexico. It shut down operations on March 17.

At this point, neither the facility, nor the Pueblo of Isleta, have disclosed testing results among casino employees. Two cases among community members have been confirmed by the tribe.

Stanford was only 31 years old when he passed on, according to family members. They remember him as a loving father to one and a friend to many.

“He was 31, a father of a very beautiful daughter, fiance to Cassandra Yazzie and Son of Alfred and Sarah Martin,” a sibling said on social media.

Freda Hernandez. Family photo

Freda was Stanford’s younger sister. Also known as Turtle, she is loved by her two children, her husband and countless family members and friends.

“Freda was a kind and loving individual who always reached out to help others she loved her family dearly and was loved dearly by her family and friends,” husband George wrote on GoFundMe.

The family is at a loss for words with the sudden passing of the siblings, a sibling said on social media. Plans for funeral and burial services for Stanford suddenly became greater with Freda’s death.

Stanford and Freda are set to be buried in Counselor, on the New Mexico portion of the Navajo Nation, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus. As of April 24,  1,540 tribal citizens who live on tribal homelands have tested positive for COVID-19. There have been 58 coronavirus related deaths on the largest reservation in the United States.


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