Harrell Funeral Home of Austin
4435 Frontier Trail
Austin, TX 78745
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Juan "Ben" Ventura Marinez Sr. born July 14, 1941, joined our heavenly father on April 29, 2022, at the age of 80, in Austin, Texas. Ben was born in Cameron, Texas to Miguel Marinez and Candida Martinez. He grew up in Hutto, Texas with h... Read More
Juan "Ben" Ventura Marinez Sr. born July 14, 1941, joined our heavenly father on April 29, 2022, at the age of 80, in Austin, Texas. Ben was born in Cameron, Texas to Miguel Marinez and Candida Martinez. He grew up in Hutto, Texas with his mother and sister, Ruth Perez. At a young age, Ben and his family moved to Austin, Texas where he discovered his interest in music and met his wife Rosa Ortiz Marines.
In high school, Ben learned how to play the guitar and joined his first band, Las Cometas. On the weekends he enjoyed dance halls and listening to other chicano soul bands. He met Shorty Ortiz, a vocalist, guitar, and keyboard player (who would later become his brother-in-law). After a few jam sessions he joined Shorty and The Corvettes for a period of time and made some records. Ben eventually expanded to more music, working with more musicians, and in the early 1970s he formed Salaman. Salaman was a Tejano band that also played music ranging from Cumbia to Polkas, Rancheras, Rock'n'roll and Blues. They played for local venues throughout the Austin and surrounding area, including the Armadillo World Headquarters, the old Soap Creek Saloon, and in 1977 headlined for the opening night of Raul's Club. As well as being featured in different Tejano television and radio programs. They were nominated by the Austin Music Awards for Best Chicano Performing Band in 1981-1982 and Best Latin Performing Band from 1982-1986. Over time Ben veered his music towards his group Mariachi Sueno Azteca. In 2007, he was presented an excellence award of lifetime achievements by Prime Time Tejano Television. Ben's influence in Tejano music will continue on through the many musicians that he mentored early in their careers while playing in the Salaman Band.
In 1963, Ben met his loving wife Rosa Ortiz Marines and together they had 3 children: sons Ben Jr., Jerel, and daughter Evelyn. They raised their family in south Austin in the big yellow house on South 5th Street, next door to his mother. Ben enlisted in The United States Army and was honorably discharged. He retired from the University of Texas, College Pharmacy, as well as from the State of Texas House of Representatives. His favorite job of all was working with his wife Rosa at Marinez Bakery, helping her make her delicious tamales and as her deliver driver. He was a member of the community, played at local jamiacas, and attended San Jose Catholic Church. He loved spending time with family, entertaining grandchildren, and even great grandchildren. He enjoyed being social with friends and music always remained present.
His family and friends have lots of memories and stories to look back on, and his presence will be deeply missed. He is survived by his caring daughter, Evelyn; sons, Ben Jr. (Christina), Jerel (Gigi); sister, Ruth Perez; grandchildren, Yvonne Marines (Javier), Denise Vela, David Vela Jr. (Briana), Francesca Marines, Gabriella Marines (Austin), Savannah Marines, Ben Marines III, Lewis Marines; and 12 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his loving wife Rosa Ortiz Marines; his parents Miguel Marinez and Candida Martinez; and grandson, Alberto Marines. Pall bearers are grandsons David Vela Jr., Ben Marines III and Lewis Marines; great grandsons Xavier Ruiz and Ernest Torrez Jr.; nephews Pete Perez Jr. and Mike Salazar.
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