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Lawrence Torres Sr.


1925 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Lawrence Torres Sr. Obituary
Torres, Lawrence Sr.



A devoted family patriarch and longtime Socorro businessman died peacefully on Thursday, December 31, 2015 in the home he and his wife Mary, shared for over 60 years. Mr. Torres, a proud Army veteran and a member of the Greatest Generation, celebrated his 90th birthday last August and enjoyed one final Christmas gathering surrounded by his large and loving family. He was a tireless worker who led by example, whether it was developing successful commercial properties along California Street, attending Saturday night Mass at San Miguel Catholic Church, walking his six miles every morning or sitting front and center at Lobo basketball and football games. He was a very vocal fan whose enthusiasm never waned, including treating his family to Lobo basketball tournaments in Las Vegas, his adopted city.

Lawrence was born on August 10, 1925 in Socorro to Estevan Torres Sr. and Petrita (Luna) Torres, the eldest of three children. By age 16, he was helping his dad at the Royal Bar on the Plaza. In the summer of 1943, Lawrence like so many of his generation, headed west to work in the shipyards and to send money home to his parents. He joined the service of Uncle Sam in 1944, serving with the Signal Corps in the European Theater of Operations in England, France and Germany. In 1946, back from the war and without formal plans, Lawrence built a lube room, the first piece of what would become Steve's Chevron, and he moved the bar from downtown to property his parents started buying in the 1930's. In 1947 at a dance at Tabet's in Belen, Lawrence met Mary Cordova, the youngest of 13 children; they married on Oct. 7, 1950.

He was a man of vision who in 1952 built the first eight units of El Camino Motel; by 1962, several expansions boosted the number of rooms to 36; it was the first motel with a pool in town. Lawrence was a successful investor; for example, a solid tip led him to stockpile spirits, the price of which skyrocketed after Prohibition ended. Steve's Drive-In Liquors was built in 1957, followed in 1963 by El Camino Restaurant, a family enterprise. When fire destroyed the original motel in 1972, Lawrence vowed to rebuild, and he did, adding a second story and other amenities, today's Econo Lodge of Socorro. Retiring in 1982 as the "dean of service station owners in Socorro," after 36 years of full service operations (and a successful tire business), Lawrence enjoyed a second "career" at Ace Hardware, built on the site of the Chevron station. There he would man the cash register and enjoy banter, from politics to sports, with legions of customers. He loved it, and continued to work well into his late 80s. His community service included a term on the Socorro Consolidated Schools Board of Education and for San Miguel School.

Lawrence was a man of faith, a staunch supporter of San Miguel Church who recognized the power of spirituality and spread it in his own way. He was devoted to Mary, his wife of 65 years, and he deeply loved his children - Larry (Dianna) Torres, Richard C. Torres, Randy (Kay) Torres and Arlene Torres-Warden. The family is indebted to Maria Diaz Ramos for the excellent and loving care to both our parents. Also left to mourn him is a brother, Steve S. Torres; 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren: Larry III (Mona) and their children, Brandon, Anthony, Noah, Rafael, and Maria; Kimberley and her children Justin and Morgan; Chastity (Garett) and children, Savannah, Thad and Brantley; Cory; Eric (Emily) and children, Sigsten, Iris and Alex; Lauren (David); Jami Parco (Zach); Jessica Warden (Kenny); Scott Torres; Amber Lea (Marc) and daughter, Mackenzie; Amy Torres (Daniel Pacheco) and daughter, Ava; and Randy Jr. (Lauren). He was preceded in death by his sister, Virginia Smallridge; grandsons, Kevin Torres and Richard Kevin (DJ) Torres; and great grandchildren, Allie Parco and Isaiah Torres. Numerous nieces, nephews and lifelong friends also mourn the loss of this good and generous man.

A public viewing was held on Monday, January 4, 2016 at Daniels Family Funeral Services chapel. The Holy Rosary will be recited on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at 10:00 am at San Miguel Catholic Church, 403 El Camino Real, Socorro with the celebration of the Mass of Resurrection to follow at 10:30 am with Father Andrew Pavlak as Celebrant. Interment will be at the Santa Fe National Cemetery at a later date. Pallbearers will be Scott Torres, Amber Lea, Amy Pacheco, Randy Torres Jr., Lauren Torres, Eric Torres, Jami Parco and Jessica Torres Warden. Please join the family for a reception following the Mass at the Garcia Opera House in Socorro.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to San Miguel Church or dedicate a mass for Lawrence. To view information or leave a condolence, please visit www.danielsfuneral.com. Lawrence's care has been entrusted to

Daniels Family Funeral

Services

309 Garfield St

Socorro, NM 87801

575-835-1530
Published in Albuquerque Journal from Jan. 5 to Jan. 7, 2016
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