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Henry De La Torre, 97, passed away peacefully of natural causes on New Year’s Eve, December 31st, 2020. Henry is survived by his beloved wife Flora Barela De La Torre and a large loving family.
Henry was born on October 8th, 1923 in Miami, Arizona to Juanita Morales and Enrique De La Torre.
A lifelong devoted Catholic, Henry was baptized on December 24th, 1923 at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church in Miami, Arizona. He was confirmed on April 7th, 1924 at the same Church.
Henry attended school until the age of 15. The Great Depression and other life circumstances required Henry to grow up quickly and take on adult responsibilities early on as he cared and provided for his mother and siblings.
Henry enrolled into the Civilian Conservation Corps on January 11th, 1940, in Globe, Arizona. He was honorably discharged on December 20th, 1940.
On October 19th, 1944, Henry answered the call to proudly serve his country during World War II. He served honorably until his discharge on April 10th, 1946. Henry valiantly served as a heavy machine gunner with the 127th Infantry, 32nd Division in the Asiatic Pacific Theater.
Henry was modest about his service and many are unaware that he earned and was awarded the Good Conduct Medal and the Victory Medal.
Soon thereafter, Henry courted the love of his life, Flora. The couple married at Holy Angels Catholic Church in Globe, Arizona on April 15th, 1950.
Henry worked in the copper mines early on in his marriage. Based on the dangerous conditions and a serious injury to his hand, his wife Flora wisely advised Henry to go back to school.
Henry utilized his GI Bill benefits to attend and complete barber school in Phoenix, Arizona.
On December 8th, 1967, Henry’s Barber Shop was born. Henry had the gift of connecting with people. He was extremely attentive to his clientele. Henry had the ability to engage with anybody and provided a venue where his customers could relax and share their respective life stories while receiving a masterful haircut. His loyal patrons loved him. His friends called him Hank. He provided his professional barber services until 2016, when his wife’s ailing health required him to be home.
For almost 50 years, Henry and his barber shop provided for his growing family. Despite earning a modest income, Henry made a queen of his loving wife. He adored her. And she adored him. Ever the devoted father, Henry built a little castle on a hillside in Globe, Arizona, nearly from scratch, working on the home during his spare time; adding rooms to the home as his family grew and grew. Under his guidance, his six kids flourished into their adulthood as they all found their own successes in life.
Henry lived to be 97 years old; so… things were only beginning for him in the 1970’s, when his first set of grandchildren were born and then in the 1980’s when his next clusters of grandchildren were born. Even at an older age, Henry will always be remembered as a strong and dignified man. He would walk home from his barber shop, with the sun setting behind his back. The grandkids eagerly awaited to see the silhouette of a man wearing his signature fedora hat with a newspaper tucked underneath his arm. Henry always made time to cap the day off with a game of catch with the kids, despite returning home from a full day of work.
Henry is survived by his children, Juanita De La Torre, Henry De La Torre (wife Rachel), Gilbert De La Torre (wife Patricia), Tina Christen (husband Steve), Fred De La Torre, and William De La Torre. Henry was the proud grandfather to 9 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. His legacy and memory will live on in all of them. He will be greatly missed.
Services will be provided at the Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery in Mesa, Arizona on Monday, January 11th. A viewing will be held between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm with a Rosary at 7:00 pm. This event is open to the public. Masks are required to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
A private Mass will be held on a later date. Attendance is limited to family members in accordance with Covid-19 prevention protocols.