David Anthony Torres was born on July 2, 1970, in San Marcos, Texas, and passed away at St. David's Medical Center on March 15, 2023, following a hernia surgery three days prior, at the age of 52. His parents are Lupe Martinez Torres and David Urrutia Torres. His father was working in a clothes hanger factory, but over the years, continued his education and became a systems analyst for the State of Texas and a board member at A Plus FCU before his retirement. His mother was a dedicated wife and mother. She waited until the children were in school to begin her career, and then became one of the most beloved staff members at Buda Elementary as the secretary to 10 principals over 39 years of service before her retirement.
David was predeceased by his grandparents; Luz and Juana (Urrutia) Torres, and Joe and Ester (Vela) Garcia; uncles Pete V. Martinez, Eusebio V. Saucedo, Juan J. Torres, Mario U. Torres, and Santos U. Torres, cousin David D. Martinez, and nephew Brennan T. Gammage. He is survived by his devoted wife Joella (Gammage) Torres, Lupe M. Torres (Mother), David U. Torres (Father) and his wife Karen, Christina (Sister) and her husband David Reyes, Liliana C. McNabb (Daughter) and her husband Andrew, Della C. Delgado (Daughter) and her husband, Eddie, and Joel Gammage(son) and his wife, Catrin, one granddaughter (born 35 hours after his death) Adeline Jane McNabb, and one on the way; nieces Tiffany Pino, Tori Pino, Rebekah Martinez, Nina Martinez, Samantha (Sebring) Chafin and her husband Bryan, Letitia (Gammage) Hanna and her husband Spencer and nephews Sean Sebring and his wife Sierra, and Stephen Sebring and his husband Jonathan, as well as four grand-nieces and 2 grand-nephews; a brother-in-law Tex Gammage and his wife Mary, sister-in-law Phyllis Mott and her husband Walter, as well as a multitude of current and former employees whom he adopted to his heart.
David went to Jack C. Hays High School, where he briefly played football as a tackle, but quit after he accidentally hurt another player. He was also a shot-putter for time and did non-competitive weightlifting and powerlifting. As a junior, signed up for the Marketing and Distribution classes, which led him to an apprenticeship with Manny Gammage at Texas Hatters, then in Buda, Texas. His bond with Manny was so great that he and family were invited to the family celebration when he graduated in 1989. He worked with Manny as an apprentice hatter, and his personal assistant and assistant manager, until Manny's death in 1995. His wife Norma and their daughter Joella made David manager and later bestowed the title of Master Hatter after he stepped into Manny's role as the face of Texas Hatters in the years after his passing. He was later made General Manager, and even though he never gained any ownership on paper, was considered to be "The Hatter" in Texas Hatters. When he started with the family business, he was very shy and would not speak any Spanish, but Manny would get him up on the front counter to help him with customers, and soon all shyness was gone, because he was helping someone in need. After 35 years of loyal service to the family, business and the many customers who met him, it became easier for his wife to see why so many thought that he was Manny's son and she the in-law. His ease with the customers and unwavering smile, endeared him to a multitude of people of all walks of life, all around the world. If he lost his patience with them, they would never know it.
During his time at Texas Hatters, he built a relationship with Manny's and Norma's daughter, Joella. Her father once quipped that, "If you don't stop being so mean to him, you're going to run him off." but David proved to be up to the task of winning her over. Their relationship started as friends, almost the day he started work at the hat shop, building through several stops and starts until New Year's Eve, 1998, when David proposed on a hilltop lookout in Austin. They were married on August 2, 1998 at Hays Hills Baptist Church. They spent 24 wonderful years together and had two beautiful daughters and a handsome son, who knew no other Dad but David, and were joyfully expecting their first grandchildren, one in March, who arrived a bit early and only 35 hours after David's passing, and the second is due in May.
David was a fan of the Luchadores from childhood. That admiration for the wrestlers whose faces you never saw without their mascaras, led him to collect masks and then to costumes, like his "Predator '' alter, Celtic Torres. He enjoyed going to ComiCons and other events where he and the other members of his cosplay group, The Lone Star Hunters, could dress in their "Predator" and "Alien" costumes and be other beings for a few hours. He also enjoyed building and painting "Alien" and "Predator" costumes and other "AvP" models and displays. More than anything else, David loved the Lord Jesus Christ, and loved to give his testimony about his story of recovery and redemption to any and all who would listen. People would marvel at how he went from having a Crown bottle under the counter, to having a Bible in its place. He would tell them how a small loaf of banana bread and a paperback book that his wife bought from some guys from Victory Outreach Austin, were the spark the Lord used to light the passion for Him that kept him from following the path to prison and death that so many he knew had followed. It was there that he saw the vision of Heaven that set him on the right path and led to his baptism at First Lockhart Baptist Church. Though a practicing Baptist for the last 16 years, David never forgot his Catholic roots and the faith of his parents.
David will be remembered as a barrel chested, gentle, man with a beaming smile, whimsical sense of humor and a servant's heart toward others. He was involved in the Awanas Club, as well as other activities, at First Lockhart Baptist Church for many years. Children gravitated to his childlike faith in Jesus and his lighthearted, playful way of teasing and it made him popular with the parents as well.
Visitation will be held at Harrell Funeral Home of Kyle on Friday, 31st of March 2023 at 4:00 PM. A Celebration of David's life will be at Harrell Funeral Home of Kyle on March 31, 2023 at 5:00 PM with a member of Santa Cruz Catholic Church officiating. A second opportunity to gather will follow David's Celebration of life followed at 7:00 pm with a Rosary service at Harrell Funeral Home in Kyle, in honor of his Catholic roots.
There will also be a memorial at First Lockhart Baptist Church, 315 W. Prairie Lea, from 10 am to noon.
Harrell Funeral Home of Kyle will be handling the funeral arrangements.
Memorial donations may be made to Outcry Austin - Victory Outreach
2300 Canterbury St. Austin, TX 78702