Fortunato “Nato” Torres, 96, a longtime resident of Bayard, passed away on January 24, 2022 at Mimbres Memorial Nursing Home in Deming, New Mexico. 

Fortunato was born on October 14, 1925 in El Paso, Texas to Cruz Torres and Lazaro Corral. He married Fabiola Sanchez in 1948 and they lived in Santa Rita, NM until 1968, when the family moved to Bayard. He joined the Navy on May 2, 1944 and was honorably discharged on May 5, 1946. He served during World War II and was one of the last living World War II Veterans.  After his military service, he worked for Kennecott Copper Mine until his retirement. Fortunato was a local artist that was well-known for his paintings of Santa Rita, Chino Mines, and the kneeling nun. Many of his pieces can still be found throughout Southwestern New Mexico. 

Fortunato is survived by five sons:  Fortunato “Fortune” Torres Jr., Alex Torres (Irma), Ernie Torres (Tonette), Andy Torres, and David Torres; Four daughters, Charlotte Medina (Frank), Patsy Sosaya (Robert), Margaret Cordova, and Lorraine Muniz (Eloy).  He is also survived by 26 grandchildren, 49 great grandchildren, and 10 great-great grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Fabiola Torres, 1 grandson and one great grandson.   

A private family graveside service will be held.

Serving as pallbearers:  Jory Torres, Jason Medina, Robert “Bobby” Sosaya, Ricardo Cervantez, Alex “Sonny” Torres Jr., Lawrence Chacon, Frank Gomez Jr., John Paul Amador Jr.

Honorary pallbearers:  Robert Sosaya, Frank “Pancho” Medina, his grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren

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