May 30, 2006 Obituaries

Floren Thompson III
Services: 1 p.m. Thursday at the Portales Cemetery

Floren Thompson III, 62, died Sunday, May 28, 2006 at his home in Portales

Mr. Thompson was born Feb. 16, 1944 in Brownwood, Texas to Mary (Tittle) and Floren Thompson Jr.

“Mr. T,” as he was known to his students, moved to Portales in 1950 from Sheridan, Ind. He attended all 12 years of school in Portales, graduating in 1962. He earned both his Bachelor’s in 1966 and his Master’s in 1977 from Eastern New Mexico University. He played the clarinet and was a member of Kappa Kappa Psi music fraternity.

He joined the U.S. Army in 1966, reaching the rank of Staff Sgt. He spent four years in the service with the 214th Army Band in Alaska.

His first job as Assistant Band Director was in Kirksville, Mo. During his 29 years of teaching, he directed bands in Missouri, Arizona, Texas, Utah and New Mexico. He directed the Portales High School Band and later the ENMU band. He retired in July 2002.

He was nominated several times to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, and was listed in the 2004-2005 edition.

He was active in First Baptist Church as a choir member, supplying special music on the clarinet, and in his weekly small group.

He was a member of Sons of the American Revolution, and had been active in American Legion, the NRA and the Christian Motorcycle Association. His hobbies included among other things, shortwave radios, model trains, coin collecting and photography.

Mr. Thompson was preceded in death by both of his parents, as well as by a son, Karl Sylvester Thompson, who died at birth.

Mr. Thompson is survived by Carolyn Thompson, his wife of more than 39 years of Portales; a son, Floren Herschel (wife Alison) Thompson of Norman, Okla.; three daughters, Marea (husband Franklin) Smith of Portales, Kari (Justin) Nevins of Joplin, Mo. and Kathi (Tim) Vetter of St. Charles, Mo.; a brother, Ben Thompson of Tucson, Ariz.; a sister, Susan Thompson-Harding of Albuquerque and 13 grandchildren, Bailey Thompson-Garcia, Emma and Caden Joel Smith, Andrew, Elizabeth, and Naomi Thompson, Uriah, Avery, Canna and Rhoen Nevins, and Adrian, Abegail and Elisha Vetter and another grandchild expected in August.

Brian Arnold and David Bonner will officiate services.

A celebration of Mr. Thompson’s life will take place at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Portales.

John Peugh, Leonard Vandenberg, Mike Rackler, Barry Walker, Cody Brown, Dennis Padilla, Beau Lamb and Clint Massey will serve as pallbearers.

The Eastern New Mexico University band alumni and faculty, along with the faculty of Portales High School and all his former students, will be honorary pallbearers.

Arrangements are by Wheeler Mortuary of Portales.

Manuel Torres

Services: 10 a.m. Wednesday, El Divinio Salvador Church in Portales.

Manuel Torres Garrola, 26, died Saturday, May 27, 2006 outside of Portales.

Mr. Torres was born April 9, 1980 in Cevallos, Mexico to Mañuela and Manuel Torres Valenzuela.

Mr. Torres lived in Mexico until about 10 years ago when he moved to Portales. During that time he worked at several local dairies. He was known as a hard worker and was a very proud father, according to family members.

He was preceded in death by his mother.

Mr. Torres is survived by his companion, Karla Rodriguez of Portales; a son, Manuel Ezekiel Torres; his father, Manuel Torres Valenzuela of Bermejillo, Mexico; five brothers, Agripino Torres, Sylvester Torres and Geraldo Torres all of Bermejillo, Mexico, and Gregorio Torres and Martin Torres, both of Portales; sisters, Felicitas Torres of Clovis, Dolores Torres and Maria Jesus Torres, both of Portales, Teresa Torres and Guadalupe Torres, both of Phoenix and Socorro Torres, Vincenta Torres and Maria de Refujia Torres, all of Mexico.

Ismael Machado will officiate services.

Burial will follow at Portales Cemetery.

Agripino Torres, Sylvester Torres, Gregorio Torres, Martin Torres, Geraldo Torres and Dago Carrillo will serve as pallbearers.