Official Obituary of

Martin “Marty” Zakes

January 27, 2020

Martin Zakes Obituary

His greatest loves in his life were cars, classic rock, cheap beer, working with his hands, Mountain Dew, and his family and friends.

There’s a cliché saying of most people who are handy: that they are a “jack of all trades, but a master of none.” This wasn’t true of Marty. He could master anything he took an interest in. He was a wiz at mechanics, spacial reasoning, electrical engineering, construction, physics, and he was pretty good on a barbecue pit too. Marty looked forward every year to two events: getting together with his friends at Houston Raceway and Halloween. He loved creating things that made other people say, “What’s that?” or “How did you do that?” He often spent weeks or even months designing and building Halloween costumes for him and Kaine. He would also expend that same type of creativity and energy in building all kinds of vehicles (cars is not the word) to take down to the race track to enjoy with his friends there.

Despite his good-time demeanor, perhaps what Marty will be most remembered for by anyone who met him was his selfless nature. There is not one person who knew him who was not the beneficiary of help or a favor from Marty, especially his family. When his parents were no longer able to care for themselves, Marty attended to them daily. “He’s my hero for how he helped our parents when they were older,” said his oldest brother, Joe. And in the days since his passing, that sentiment has been shared again and again by his family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and acquaintances.

Those who know Marty know that he did not accept praise or compliments easily, and it would probably make him uncomfortable to be remembered as a hero. But he was.

Martin Zakes, who everyone called “Marty,” died early Sunday morning on January 26th, 2020. He was 55 years old. Marty was born July 8th, 1964 to his parents Walter and Virgina (Gleason) Zakes who preceded him in death.  He is survived by his son Russell Kaine Zakes, his ex-wife Candy Weaver, and his step-daughter Victoria Weaver. He is also survived his brothers Joe Zakes, Chris Zakes, Mike Zakes, Tom Zakes, his nieces and nephews Elizabeth Zakes, Catherine Zakes, Peter Zakes, Michael Zakes, Lauren Becker, Rosalind Bradshaw, Robert Zakes, and Hal Zakes.

A lifelong Houstonian, and resident of Jacinto City, Marty was a graduate of Milby High School’s class of 1982. He fostered his love of working with his hands and anything on wheels from an early age, and could most likely be found on his bicycle or skateboard growing up. Marty worked in a variety of jobs throughout his life, but in the end he dedicated over 20 years of service to the City of Houston and had just recently begun his retirement paperwork process.

Arrangements are as follows:


4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
(6:30 PM chaplain service)
Celestial Funeral Home
1922 Strawberry Rd., Pasadena TX, 77502

E.T.A 1:00 PM - No end time set
Forest Park Lawndale
6900 Lawndale, Houston TX, 77023



In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Marty’s honor to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D) South East Texas office at 15355 Vantage Pkwy W #220, Houston, TX 77032 or via the donation page on their website:

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Martin “Marty” Zakes, please visit our floral store.

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