Elizabeth Marie Torres
May 12, 1930 - November 25, 2016
Our Mom, "Betty, " was born May 12, 1930 in Detroit, Michigan to John Henry and Gertrude Amos, both teachers. She was the oldest of three children and is survived by sister Virginia Moody and brother Tom Amos. Mom spent her childhood in the Michigan cities of Detroit, Frankfort, and Jackson. Her happiest childhood memories were spending summers with her family and cousins at Crystal Lake. She enjoyed swimming, boating, fishing, sunbathing and helping her mom and dad tend the five vacation cabins that...
Elizabeth Marie Torres
May 12, 1930 - November 25, 2016
Our Mom, "Betty, " was born May 12, 1930 in Detroit, Michigan to John Henry and Gertrude Amos, both teachers. She was the oldest of three children and is survived by sister Virginia Moody and brother Tom Amos. Mom spent her childhood in the Michigan cities of Detroit, Frankfort, and Jackson. Her happiest childhood memories were spending summers with her family and cousins at Crystal Lake. She enjoyed swimming, boating, fishing, sunbathing and helping her mom and dad tend the five vacation cabins that her grandfather built. In high school, she got her first job as a waitress at Crystal Downs Country Club with her girlfriends.
In 1947, the Amos family took their first road trip to California, after her Dad had attended a conference in Los Angeles. They squeezed into their car, along with her dog BoBo and cat Mowie, for a long road trip to California. In 1948, they took their second road trip to California because they loved it so much. Mom's family was adventurous and loved to travel, something she carried with her into adulthood and always enjoyed.
In 1950, they moved to California where they lived in a rented farmhouse in Cupertino. The owners of the farm were a family by the name of Torres. One Sunday at St. Joseph of Cupertino Catholic Church, Mom saw a handsome young man driving a huge light blue Buick to church. It was Al, the youngest son of Telesforo and Alberta Torres. Al invited Mom to a Santa Clara University dance in San Francisco as their first date. It was love at first sight and Mom sewed herself a special dress for the occasion.
The Torres and Amos family became close friends and enjoyed many parties with music, dancing, singing, croquet, and horseshoes on the Torres Ranch. Mom's older cousin, the Reverend Father Louis Kern, S.J., liked to show 16 mm reel movies such as "Cluney Brown" and westerns.
In 1953, Mom married our Dad at St. Leo's Catholic Church in San Jose. Dad was a junior at Santa Clara University. When Dad graduated in May 1954, Mom became a military wife as Dad went into the U.S. Army serving as a 1st Lieutenant during the Korean War. In July of that same year, their first son Mark was born. Later, he was followed by Steven, Catherine, and Elizabeth. After Dad's years of military service ended, they briefly rented a duplex on Genevieve Avenue in San Jose. Then they purchased their first and forever home on Kenwood Avenue.
Mom was a wonderful homemaker and devoted herself to raising four kids and being a loving wife. She made our home a happy place filled with family pictures, curios from travels, children's art, musical instruments and music (our house band), and traveling guests. All our neighborhood friends ended up hanging out at our home, a welcome and fun place. Mom loved to cook and welcomed anyone to join our meals. She also experimented with making new things. We had a joke that we knew when dinner was ready when we smelled the smoke or heard the dogs running for the kitchen. We developed a liking for well done food.
Mom's unconditional love and support and her belief in God and family showed us how to live a good life. She taught us the values of kindness, education, art, joy, and adventure. All of us went onto college and completed advanced graduate degrees in a wide variety of fields, following our passions. Mom made each of us feel special and blessed with skills and purpose. Our successes are Mom and Dad's successes.
Mom used her creative and artistic skills in everything she did. She loved photography, arts and crafts, cooking, flower arranging, woodworking, sewing, tile designs, music, travel, and being Catholic. She especially loved doing woodworking and house projects with her talented father, after he retired. She delighted in attending craft fairs and church bazaars. With a huge smile, she would gleefully show off the unique art and treasures that she found as gifts for her children and grandchildren.
After we started leaving the nest in the 1980s, Mom got a job at Santa Clara Mission Church as the wedding scheduler/coordinator. She loved working with the couples to plan their special days. Mom and Dad's marriage was a model example of a happy loving relationship. It was this example that led her children to find exceptional spouses; Steven to Alison, Catherine to Brian Yoshii and Elizabeth to Keith Fruzzetti. She was especially proud of Mark when he celebrated his first mass as a Jesuit priest at the Mission Santa Clara church. She adored her grandchildren Anna, Emily, Daniel, Mateo, Jenny, and Sarah.
In 2003, Mom and Dad celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. We surprised them both with a gift of an Alaskan cruise. It was always a dream of Mom's to travel to Alaska. Both were so happy that the trip included all four children, spouses and grandchildren. It was a happy celebration full of laughs and cheerful memories.
Mom and Dad loved each other very much. They are forever bonded and had a loving 63-year marriage. In recent years as Mom began to lose her memories, our Dad continued to teach us about ultimate devotion, love, and commitment. Even when Mom didn't remember us anymore, we all provided the care and love that she taught us. She blessed us all.
Arrangements under the direction of Lima Family Santa Clara Mortuary, Santa Clara, CA.