Euna C. Torres, age 100, passed away peacefully in her sleep on January 7, 2024 in Socorro, New Mexico. Euna was born on a houseboat on the Sabine River, in Black Bayou Louisiana. She was the oldest of 13 children. She is survived by nine of her siblings: sisters Velma, Vida Mae, Shirley, Lucille, and Judy, and brothers Ozama Jr., Jerry, Eugene, and Ronnie. Siblings Curtis, LeRoy and Eva Joyce and parents, Ozama and Azaelia, predeceased her.
Euna grew up in abject poverty in Hackberry, Louisiana, walking on a four-inch pipe across Black Lake to attend elementary and middle school. She had to plead with her parents to let her go to and complete high school, graduating as her class salutatorian in 1942. She grew up hunting alligators with her father in the bayous surrounding Cameron Parrish and attended a business college in Lake Charles, LA for one year before joining the WAVES, (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service) a Reserve Unit of the U.S. Navy. Prior to being stationed in Washington, D.C., she was based in Lake Charles, LA, and attended a USO dance in May 1944, where she spied an excellent dancer and was determined to dance with him! That excellent dancer, Eugene E. Torres, not only asked her to dance, but continued dating and corresponding with her over the following 18 months while he was stationed in the European Theatre during WWII. Gene and Euna got engaged and married after the war ended on November 2, 1945 in El Paso, Texas. Gene and Euna settled in Magdalena, NM before moving to Socorro in 1958, where she resided the remainder of her life.
Gene and Euna’s 50-year marriage produced six children, 12 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. Although her beloved husband Gene died in 1995, Euna was married to Gene until the day she died! She is also predeceased by her oldest son, Paul (Minnie), and her grandson Charles. She is survived by her remaining children, David (Theresa), Tom (Nancy), Max (Sue), Art (Lisa) and Mary (John Chavez) and grandchildren Paul Jr., Elizabeth (Joe Chambers), Michael (Dyan), David (Guadalupe), Daniel (Melissa), Rebecca (David Fisher), Chelsey (JJ Perez), James, Olivia (Ryan Gutierrez), Tomas Chavez (Reanna), Paige (Noah Martinez), and Taylor (Patrick Limage).
Euna will be remembered for her devout faith, consistent rosaries and novenas, her Cajun and Spanish cooking, wicked sense of humor, her knowledge of current events through her voracious reading of newspapers and magazines, her love of dancing, sewing skills, and her incredible strength as a member of the Greatest Generation. For years, the family celebrated Christmas Eve with a fusion of her two worlds feasting on gumbo, jambalaya, posole, tamales and chile rellenos. She would begin making her chile rellenos and tamales every October, working alongside her daughter in true assembly-line fashion. Her sewing skills resulted in sewing robes for every member of her family and close friends and making most of her daughter’s school clothes during high school, college, and even law school! She sewed all these clothes on a Singer treadle sewing machine that Gene bought his mother with money he earned from delivering newspapers. She was also a devoted after-school grandma, welcoming her grandchildren and their friends into her kitchen for after-school snacks.
After Gene’s passing, she relied upon her strong faith as the matriarch of the Torres family. She was a true multi-tasker before it even became a thing: walking in the backyard praying her rosary and reciting her novenas, of which the Divine Mercy was her most meaningful novena. She was a devoted sister, mom, mother-in-law, grandma, and auntie to so many. During her final years, with her mobility and eyesight failing, she transitioned to Good Samaritan Village in Socorro. Euna’s children will be eternally grateful for the care and support she received while at Good Sam. The family celebrated Euna’s 100th birthday in May 2023, a momentous milestone made all the more special surrounded by her children and grandchildren. As a witness to our world’s history, Euna never missed a chance to share her stories, her mind as sharp as ever detailing events that shaped generations.
Services for Euna will be on January 16, 2024 at San Miguel Mission in Socorro, with visitation at 9 a.m., rosary at 10 a.m., and funeral mass at 10:30 a.m.. with Father Hickman officiating followed by burial at San Miguel Catholic Cemetery next to her beloved husband, Gene. Her grandsons, Paul, Jr., Michael, David, Daniel, James, and Tomas will serve as pallbearers, with her granddaughter’s husbands all honorary pallbearers.
Euna’s children rejoice in her remarkable life and are comforted that she is dancing with her beloved Gene, with fully restored eyesight, reunited with her son and grandson, and eating shrimp and nectarines to her heart’s content. Vaya con Dios, Mama.