Barbara Kapsalis is a native of Martinez. She left Martinez in 1956, but returned to her hometown as she closed in on retirement in 1992. When she returned, she moved into the house she was raised in on her family’s homestead, then and now a farm.
This year, the Martinez Chamber of Commerce awarded Kapsalis its Lifetime Achievement Award.
The honor follows many years of service to her community. Kapsalis worked in special education for two years and then retired from education in 1994. Since then, Kapsalis has been farming, but also has been involved with many community groups in Martinez. She is a volunteer coordinator for , is involved with the , and also is a member of the Martinez Historical Society and the library. She also volunteers with the Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Martinez Kiwanis.
“Martinez has always been really friendly and close," Kapsalis said. "If you ever need help, you can always depend on your friends…(Martinez) is just real special to me…it’s home.”
“I’m honored, I’m overwhelmed and very surprised…there’s a lot of people who deserve that award, too,” Kapsalis said of receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. She described herself as a “hands-on” person. “I just do what I do, so I was surprised.”