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Joe Torrez, 60, of Santa Maria, California, passed away peacefully on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, at the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles. Joe had been quietly battling a terminal lung illness that was complicated by COVID-19 exposure. Joe was born in La Junta, Colorado, to Mike and Rosa Torrez in February 1960 before relocating to Lompoc, California, in 1985. Joe was the housekeeping supervisor at the Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center in La Junta prior to relocating to California. Joe went onto a successful 26-year career with the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons at the United States Penitentiary in Lompoc and retired as laundry plant manager in April 2015. During his career, Joe had the honor of being a member of specialized teams, including a being certified California hostage negotiator. After retirement, Joe worked part-time at Home Depot in Santa Maria, which led him to volunteer to help seniors with home repairs. Joe has been an active volunteer in the community, including youth soccer coach, advancement chairman for the Boy Scouts of America and assisting fundraising efforts for various veteran organizations. As an active 17-year member of the Santa Maria Elk’s Lodge #1538, Joe has been part of various groups and teams within the Lodge, including Bingo Kitchen leader and Chairman of the RV Corral Camping at the rodeo. Joe and his wife, Darlene, lived life to the fullest, enjoying RV travel, attending festivals, barbecues, cruising the ports of the world or just […]