Mass of Christian Burial
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
12:00 PM EDT
St. Mary Church
209 S. Brown St
Paw Paw, MI 49079
Visitation will begin 1 hour prior. Burial will take place at Oak Grove Cemetery in Lawton.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With a contagious smile and ready laughter, Roberto Torres Sr. lived a life rich in faith and family. Roberto was a hardworking man who always treated others with respect. A man who embodied the principles of his faith, he led by example. He embraced each day as a gift and every person as a friend. Roberto possessed a delightful sense of humor and boundless generosity regardless of life's challenges. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend Roberto cherished his family. Respected by many, Roberto will long be remembered and ever so missed.
Born on August 8, 1940, in La Luz, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Roberto's early years were abundantly filled with his mother, Maria Montoya's, good care, and his grandparents' support. From a young age, Roberto worked in the fields to help support his family. Without complaint, he took on the hard labor of tending to the local crops, including blueberries, grapes, and asparagus. Though he never completed school or learned to read and write, he never let his illiteracy hold him back. He knew that with hard work, faith, and determination, he could ensure a good life for himself and his family.
While working on the same ranch in Mexico, Roberto met his wife, Antonia. After the couple married, Roberto migrated in the 1970s to the United States in search of a better job and place to raise his family. Though he found work on several farms and lived for a time in Texas and Florida, he chose to settle in West Michigan. After establishing his new home, his family joined him.
In 1982, Roberto began working at Honee Bear Canning in Lawton, where many of his friends and relatives also worked. Despite never learning to speak English, Roberto created a sense of community and conversation with everyone. Enthusiastic hosts, he and Antonia often invited their friends and his co-workers to their home for cookouts, until their family grew so big they didn't have room. Roberto was an excellent grill man, though his wife's cooking was notably more reputable. The life of the party, his good humor and contagious smile ensured the gatherings were filled with laughter, celebration, and his favorite game, Bingo.
During their 60 years together, Roberto and Antonia gifted their family with a wonderful marriage built on the firm foundation of commitment and joy. Their life centered on rich traditions, including traveling home to Mexico to celebrate Christmas. As their children grew older and had families of their own, they would caravan together to share the two-week holiday. One of Roberto’s favorite things to do was chat with the many street vendors. He’d even help them sell their merchandise! Though the family playfully jokes that Roberto kidnapped Antonia from the ranch, they have always been clear about the power their perfect love story. One of the family's most treasured memories of Roberto and Antonia is their 50th wedding anniversary. In true style, Roberto's boss drove them from their celebratory mass to their reception in a classic car.
Roberto was known for always being active. He spent countless hours on his bicycle, riding all over town. He was exceptionally fit and in better shape than people half his age. His mornings were filled with jokes and laughter and enthusiasm for the day. He loved tending to his gardens, where he could be found expertly watering the plants morning, noon, and night. He even took care of the rest of his family's gardens at their homes. As a kid, Roberto played neighborhood soccer anywhere they had a ball. Those early games created a lifelong passion for the sport as he’d follow the games of his favorite teams. Also a fan of boxing, baseball, and Ultimate Fighting, Roberto always had a game on the TV. Notably, the only time he ever missed work was when he’d get caught up in the excitement of an important game. His grandchildren truly brought a twinkle to his eye as they’d play Loteria or take a trips to the flea market together. Quinceañeras, holidays, and birthdays were all the more complete because his grandchildren were there.
Without a doubt, the absence of Roberto's steadfast and joyful presence leaves a void in the lives of those who loved him. May we find comfort in our many treasured memories of the fine man we were privileged to know. May we also find comfort in the honor of carrying his legacy of love and laughter forward in our own lives.
Roberto Torres Sr., age 80, of Lawton, died on August 15, 2020. Roberto was preceded in death by his mother. Surviving are his wife of 60 wonderful years, Antonia; 7 children: Francisca (Pablo) Benavidez, Maria deJesus (Jaime) Carrizales, Sylvia Vigil, Elizabeth (Terrance) Torres-Billings, Hector (Heather) Torres, Veronica (Brian) Hansen, and Roberto Torres Jr.; 20 grandchildren: Celia, Ruben, Pablo Jr., Crystal, Eric, Fidencio, Jaime Jr., Thalia, Monique, Susana, Lorenzo Jr., Elliott, Olivia, Julian, Natalie, Miley, Isabel, Sofia, Mateo, Roberto III; 19 great-grandchildren; siblings: Antonio, Venancio, Herminio, and Consuelo Alvarez; and many nieces and nephews.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 12PM on Tuesday (AUG 25) at St. Mary Church, 209 S. Brown St., Paw Paw, with visitation 1 hour prior. Burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery in Lawton. Visit Roberto's personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you may read his Life Story, archive a favorite memory or photo, and sign his online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Eleanor's Pantry. Arrangements by Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Home, 60900 M-40 Hwy, Paw Paw, (269) 657-3870.