Eleanor Vasquez Torres, a lifelong Ventura County resident, passed through the Gates of Heaven in the early morning of August 15, 2013. She was 87 years old and lived a life filled with love and devotion to her family.
Eleanor was born in Saticoy, California on June 28, 1926 to Epitacio and Emma Vasquez. It was here she was imparted with the enculturation of a tremendous spirit and pride of her beloved community, Saticoy. Her father infused a sense of hard work and responsibility from an early age.
She loved school and all its activities, attending Saticoy School when, unfortunately, it was segregated for Mexicans. Later, she attended Ventura High School before leaving to work in the orchards to assist the Vasquez family.
In 1943, while working in the then abundant walnut orchards of Ventura County, she met the love of her life, a native Santa Paulan, Joe Torres. They were just teenagers, but within a year they eloped to San Jose, CA on August 26, 1944.
Eleanor soon had three children: Ermelinda, Joseph and Richard. She devoted herself to rearing her children and loved being a mother who would always make sure there was a sense of family. Her work in the agriculture industry, including 12 years with Oxnard Frozen Foods as a quality control food technician, would be cornerstone for her attitude of always striving to be a great example of diligence for her children and grandchildren. This was conveyed through various family dinners and get-togethers. Eleanor was always supportive of all of her children's activities, be it sports, school or other interest; she was always proud of her children's accomplishments.
This union of Joe and Eleanor would last for almost 69 years of marriage in Santa Paula, California. They grew to be inseparable, and even to the last moments they could always be seen together – holding hands and finishing each other's sentences.
Eleanor had many interests besides her family. Before her recent illness she was an almost daily attendee of Mass at St. Sebastian Church in Santa Paula. She also enjoyed volunteering for the St. Vincent DePaul Society.
She loved to travel, having made several trips to Mexico, Canada, Great Britain and Europe. She especially loved her expeditions to the Holy Land and the Vatican in Italy.
Eleanor enjoyed collecting various curios including Beanie Babies and Lladro figurines. She also followed golf, MLB, she loved the L.A. Angels, and the UCLA sports teams.
Eleanor had a love of music and dancing. She was extremely fond of the Big Band music of the 1940s, as well as jazz and her classic Mexican songs.
Keeping up a meticulous house and cooking great meals were additional activities that Eleanor enjoyed – she was famous for her tamales, menudo and Mexican rice.
Overall, Eleanor was a prime example of "The Greatest Generation." She was selfless and dedicated to making herself, her family, and her community better.
She leaves behind her beloved husband, Joe Torres; her children, Ermelinda (late Arthur) Bendy of Santa Paula, Joseph Torres of Santa Paula, and Richard (Theresa) Torres of Fillmore; her grandchildren, Matthew (Auburn) Torres of San Diego, Brina (Scott) (Bendy) Long of Philadelphia, PA, Susan Torres of Fillmore, and Jesstina and Angel Torres of Fillmore; her great-grandchildren, Landon and Avil Torres of San Diego, Jadon and Joelle Rodriguez of Fillmore, and Austin Long of Philadelphia, PA; and her siblings, Martin (late Norma) Vasquez of Simi Valley, Bobby (Ruth) Vasquez of Oxnard, Louis (Alice) Vasquez of Santa Paula, Josie (Ruben) Flores of Oxnard, Emma (late Salomon) De La Garza of Oxnard, Cruz (late Norman) Araiza of Saticoy, and Francis (Rene) Dominguez of Simi Valley; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in passing are her parents, Epitacio and Emma Vasquez; her sisters, Francis Vasquez and Nacha Murillo; her brothers, Joe Vasquez, Henry Vasquez, Herbert Vasquez, and Junior (Epitacio) Vasquez; and her grandson, Jonathan Autry.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, August 23 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 10800 Henderson Rd., Ventura. Viewing will be at 9:30 a.m. with a rosary at 10:00 a.m. and funeral mass to follow at 10:30 a.m. Interment will be held at Pierce Brothers Santa Paula Cemetery, 380 Cemetery Rd., Santa Paula, CA.