Joe E. Torres
April 3, 1928 – August 1, 2006
Joe Torres was born in Morenci, Arizona and moved to Phoenix in 1936. As a boy, he earned money shining shoes in downtown Phoenix.
In eighth grade he had to quit school and work in the fields harvesting the varied crops of the area in order to help his family survive. With the onset of World War II, Joe went to work in several places including the large Reynolds Aluminum plant. In 1945, Joe volunteered for the Army at the age of 17 and was sent to Germany as part of the occupation forces in that devastated country. He was also a participant in the Berlin Airlift of 1948.
When he returned from the service, Joe joined Laborers Local 383 and was a union member his entire working career. He went to work for what later became APS and retired from there after 36 years.
Living in Golden Gate Barrio, he knew Father Albert Braun and helped build Sacred Heart Church and the parochial school. He later became a founding member of the Braun-Sacred Heart Center and played a major role in preventing the destruction of Sacred Heart Church by the City of Phoenix.
Joe Torres was also very involved with American Legion Post #41, from the time of his discharge in 1948 until his death. He did extensive work with the post in its political and community activities and was also Post Commander. Joe was also a member of the Board of Chicanos Por La Causa.
On June 3, 1945, Joe married Mary, who would be his wife for over 52 years. They had 6 children; Joe, Dolores, Enrique, Anthony, Michael, and Andrew.