Dolly-Dean Martinez (nee Kimball) passed away peacefully at her home in Uptown New Orleans on Monday September 24th, 2018.
Dolly-Dean is survived by her loving husband, Dr. I. Ricardo “Ric” Martinez, daughter Tessa and son Terc, and Brothers Wayne Kimball (Sylvia) and Dr. Baylen Kimball (Sue) and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
She is preceded in death by her Father Bennett Kimball and Mother Florence Kimball (nee Champagne) of New Orleans.
Born February 24th, 1941 in New Iberia, she moved to New Orleans at age two to remain a lifelong resident. She attended St. Anthony of Padua for Grammar School, graduating from Dominican High School and then going on to Loyola University to study Journalism. She met Dr. Martinez the month before her 18th birthday and they went on to marry on June 24th, 1961. Drama was a passion and she won many lead roles at Le Petit Theater while in school. This led to a lengthy career in the Entertainment Business. After serving as President of Goodwill Industries she joined the New Orleans Opera initially as president of the Junior Opera Committee, then moving on to Public Relations Director editing the program while in that position. Delta Festival Ballet came next where she served as president hosting the Bolshoi Ballet principles for the first time in the US. She bought local model and talent agency, Artist Representatives “Artist Rep” in 1980 her first project, casting extras and bit parts on the feature film Cat People and going on to work on numerous further local and national productions. Dolly-Dean quickly gained international attention as a great eye for new talent and was soon placing her talent with some of the biggest agencies in the world. The covers started lining the agency walls. She was approached by John Casablancas of Elite Models to open the John Casablancas Model and Career Center in Baton Rouge and then rebranded to Dolly-Dean Model and Career Network. While traveling for business Dolly visited the former Soviet Republic of Georgia and fell in love with the country. She helped facilitate business deals and organized humanitarian outreach with a group of US physicians assembled by her husband. She received the honor, ‘Citizen of Tbilisi’ from the Georgian government. They opened the American Georgian Foundation office in the former World Trade Center in New Orleans.
Post Katrina the decision was made to stay closer to home. Dolly sold her talent business to her business associate. She assumed the role of office manager for Dr. Martinez’s Dermatology Practice, assisting him with his annual Skin Cancer Screening at East Jefferson General Hospital for the American Academy of Dermatology. They worked side by side until recent health issues kept her home.
She was a bright light in so many lives.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday, October 6th
St. Francis of Assisi Church, 631 State Street, New Orleans 70118
Visitation 10:00 - 12:00
Mass 12:00 - 1:00
In lieu of flowers please make a donation in honor of Dolly-Dean to a charity of your choice.