Former Regent Steve Torres Passes Away

Former Regent Steve Torres Passes Away

SOCORRO, N.M. – The New Mexico Tech community is mourning the passing of long-time Regent Steve S. Torres, who served on the Board from 1966 to 1996.

Mr. Torres, 81, passed away Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Socorro, N.M. where he was born on January 23, 1936. He is the namesake of the Torres Residence Hall on the NMT campus.


Steve Torres

30-year member of the NMT Board of Regents

Mr. Torres attended Mount Carmel Elementary School and graduated from Socorro High School in 1954. He then left for Seattle, where he earned his bachelor’s in 1958 from the University of Washington. He then returned to New Mexico and began his career in public service. He also earned a master’s from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vt., in 1972.

From 1965 until his retirement in 2015, he was a successful businessman, owning a variety of businesses and real estate interests and serving as a broker, appraiser and consultant in commercial real estate. He was active in the Republican Party, serving in the N.M. Legislature, representing Socorro County from 1963 to 1965.

Mr. Torres was appointed to the Board of Regents at New Mexico Tech by Gov. David Cargo, a position he held for 30 years (the longest serving Regent in New Mexico history). He was reappointed four times by four succeeding governors.

His public service includes 15 years as a member of the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation. He also served on various task forces in New Mexico. In 1995 he received the New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Award.

New Mexico Tech awarded Mr. Torres an honorary doctorate in business management in 2008. The university dedicated the Steve S. Torres Residence Hall in his honor in 2013.

During his public service of over 40 years, mostly in higher education, his energies were focused in developing justice, equality and opportunities for all college students. He could be strong, fiery, and firm when dealing with principles, but he could also be fair and soft-spoken.

He is survived by special friend, Mary C. Fernandez; by his three children, Steve A. Torres and wife Bernida Gallegos; Paula K. Torres and companion Johnnie Trujillo; and daughter Leslie Torres; grandchildren Brandon Torres, Leyla Munden, Madisen Munden, Sean Munden, Gavin Torres, Joseph Torres, Johnnie Taylor Trujillo, Joleena Heras Quezada and husband Silvano Heras Quezada, and Anthony Rey Sanchez; great-grandchildren Silvano Alfredo Quezada, Joel Partridge III and Sylas Rubia Quezada; sister-in-law Mary Torres of Socorro; three aunts; and many nephews and nieces and their families.

He was preceded in death by his father Estevan Torres, his mother Petrita Luna Torres, his daughter Mary Margaret Torres, his sister Virginia Smallridge, his brother-in-law Nicholas Smallridge, and his brother Lawrence Torres.

The Holy Rosary will be recited at 8:30 a.m.  Monday, July 24 at San Miguel Catholic Church in Socorro. Following will be the celebration of the Mass of the Resurrection with Father John Anasiudu, celebrant, with interment to follow. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to San Miguel Church or dedicate a mass for Steve S. Torres. 

– NMT –