Della (Torres) Vega, 70, of Socorro, New Mexico, passed away on July 16, 2023. She was born in Socorro, New Mexico, on December 13, 1952, to Felix and Josephine (Gonzales) Torres. She was a graduate of Socorro High School and a long-time Warrior fan through her children and grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her parents and siblings Frances and Alfred. She is survived by her husband of 51 years Jose “Lencho”, daughter Delilah (Dennis) Walsh and son Joey (Loretta) Vega and her five grandchildren Jacob, Joshua, Jillian, Sarah and Michael; her siblings Felix Torres, Jerry Torres, Theresa (Peter) Del Curto, Chris (Ruby) Torres, Sandra (Robert) Aerts, Tom (Debbie) Torres and Douglas (Gloria) Torres; and her scores of nieces and nephews
She retired from First State Bank in 2003 as Vice President after 20+ years to be home with her grandchildren. In her work life, she mentored scores of young bankers and absolutely loved every single teller that ever worked for her. She was a tough boss with high expectations but treated every one of her employees with love, support and encouragement, and many are highly successful professionals today.
Della loved to cook and to throw a party, even when she knew the farmer she married would call it a night and head to bed well before anyone was ready to leave the house. Her favorite time of year was Christmas and she absolutely loved decorating the Garcia Opera House on behalf of First State Bank for a season of Christmas parties, recruiting every bank employee and her entire family to work. She turned the simple task of watching Socorro’s Christmas parade from our dad’s auto shop into a giant potluck of posole, enchiladas and hot cocoa for the kids. She once made Christmas bonbons for Lencho’s colleagues at NRAO and when he shared how much they liked them, she was committed to making them each their own batches every year and recruited her grandkids for an assembly line. Her home was fully decorated for Christmas and included changing out the bedspreads, towels and throw pillows for holiday patterns.
She was a member of the Socorro County Republican Party for well over 30 years and spent nearly half that time as an officer and eventually chairwoman. She absolutely believed that local candidates were the heart of our community and could make positive impacts on our citizens and worked hard to support her people. If you were a good egg, you had her support no matter your party affiliation. For her, politics was personal and anyone attending a monthly meeting of the SCRP could guarantee they would be treated to good food and company.
She was a perennial cheerleader for her family, attending soccer, basketball, swim, golf, volleyball and football events. Even if she didn’t know how the game worked, she would yell at the referee and cheer loudly when called for. She was a fierce protector of her children, grandchildren and her entire family and we’ve all witnessed her 5-foot-2-inch frame growing before our eyes if someone she loved was harmed.
She was the auntie who brought macaroni to the party, the neighbor who loved to try a new dessert, the mom who would take on a new crafting challenge every year, the wife who loved her garden and trees, the grandma who made you feel truly special, and the woman who couldn’t tell a joke correctly even if she wrote it down. She was a light to many and our world is a little dimmer without her.
Services for Della will be held on August 25, 2023, at San Miguel Church in Socorro; the rosary will begin at 9:30 a.m. followed by a funeral mass at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gift donations be made to Operation Smile in her name to help children born with cleft palates.