de la Torre, Juan Manuel
87, of Phoenix passed away at home on May 05, 2010, surrounded by his loving wife of 68 years, Mary Louise and his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Juan was born in San Antonio, Texas on September 27, 1922. Juan married Mary Louise Morales on November 26, 1942 in El Paso, Texas. He served in the First Cavalry Division during World War II as a Reconnaissance Scout. He headed the troops to get information on location, strength and type of unit of the enemy. The "Old Soldier" was proud of his service in the U.S. Army under General Douglas MacArthur. Battles and campaigns included New Guinea, Admiralty Islands and Leyte in the Philippine Islands, where he was wounded in action on October 22, 1944. Juan was awarded the Purple Heart, Good Conduct Ribbon, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon, American Defense Service Ribbon and Combat Infantry Badge. He was the Golden Gloves Lightweight Champion of the First Cavalry, El Paso District. Juan and his wife Mary founded Precision Auto Parts in 1954. Today, it is a family run Auto Recycling business in Phoenix. Juan is survived by his wife Mary Louise; Children: Rebecca D. Ponte (Jim), Robert Michael de la Torre (Therese), Yvonne de la Torre Montiel (Miguel), John Manuel de la Torre II (Olivia), Estrellita Louise de la Torre (Carol); Grandchildren: James Ponte (Liberty), Yvette Ponte (Dave), Dolores de la Torre Urbieta (Albert), Therese de la Torre, Gloria de la Torre, Luisa de la Torre Mejia (Vicente), R. Michael de la Torre; Aida Montiel Jaramilla (Matthew), Maritza Montiel Tafur (Camilo); Ariana de la Torre Vieron (Nick), Johnny de la Torre. Great Grandchildren: Tristan & Keegan Ponte; Albert, Lucero, Sammy and Marco Urbieta; Julian Mejia; Lea Jaramilla. He is also survived by his brother, Miguel A. de la Torre and nieces and nephews, Adela, Robert, Rosario, Maria, Rudy and Roberta. He was preceded in death by his brother, Robert de la Torre. Dad's favorite quote was, "Old soldiers never die, and they just fade away." And instead of Goodbye, "Hasta Luego." Until we meet again, we will miss our "Old Soldier." Rosary, Mass, Military Honors and celebratory reception to be held at a later date. Family and friends are encouraged to share memories and condolences visiting the online obituary Guest Book at www.obits.azcentral.com.
Published in The Arizona Republic on May 12, 2010