Christopher Henry Torti
Christopher Henry Torti, of Liberty Hill, made his transition on July 12, 2020.
Chris was preceded in death by his parents, Hank Torti and Gloria DePasquale, his sons, CJ Torti and Dominic Torti, and brother-in-law Joseph Taliuaga.
He is survived by his wife, Leah, and step-daughter, Sofia Miller, mother-in-law Danna Hooper; sister-in-law Heather Drake; daughter Priscilla Torti and her husband Cruz Lopez, granddaughter Maegan Wilson and her wife, Katie Wilson; grandson Tristan Lopez, daughter-in-law Amanda Torti; daughter-in-law Christina Torti and granddaughter Katherine; grandson Aidan Hughes; sister Cathy Torti, sister Geri Taliuaga and her partner Ray McClain; brother Bob Torti and his husband Chuck; brother Mike Torti and his wife Karen; step-brother John DePasquale and his wife Gab; step-sister Dianne Searight and her husband Tom; as well as many nieces and nephews. We would be remiss not to include his ACS “brothers” Mike Dany, Danny Ingram, and Steve Zamzow, and all of the other folks who he cherished and spent so much time with.
Born in Bayshore, NY on September 28, 1949, Chris “got to Texas as soon as he could”. Following graduation from Sul Ross University, Chris always planned on being a teacher and coach. Fate had different plans for him, though. He began his career with the American Cancer Society in 1973 as a Field Representative for 18 West Texas counties surrounding Midland/Odessa. Between 1973 and his retirement, he served as Executive Director for El Paso, Income Development Director for Dallas, Executive Director for Dallas, Division Vice President for Field Services (1984), Senior Vice President (1992), and Chief Operating Officer (1995), all for the former Texas Division. His professional accomplishments include winning the award for the best fundraiser in the Division (1975); first staff person to raise $100,000 in El Paso, TX (1978); staffing the first Gala event in Texas to raise over $100,000 (1979 Dallas CBB); he became the first staff person in Texas to complete a successful capital campaign (Dallas Office-1980); became the only Area/Metro manager in the history of the Division to win all ten staff achievement awards in the same year (1983); managed the first $3,000,000 Area in the Division (1983); staffed the first Hispanic Summit (1996) and African American Summit (1998) in the Texas Division; created Division Associate Vice President positions for Diversity (2000) and Learning and Development (2001); and created the Texas Division Relay For Life Business Unit (2002). He was named Chief of Staff with the merger of the Texas Division with the Heartland Division to form the High Plains Division in 2005. He retired on May 1, 2013, after almost 40 years of service.
Chris was described by his friends as “a complex but loving man”, both “gruff and tender”. He never met a stranger and would regale anyone who would listen with stories of his constant near brushes with death, keen powers of observation, and unmatchable wit. He was brought to tears by every sappy movie he ever saw, yet would let out a string of cuss words that would make a sailor blush if someone didn’t use their turn signal. When his step-daughter’s father was ill, he drove an hour and a half each week, to hang out and play checkers with him. Next to his family, the loves of his life were the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers (his cat’s name is Ranger), and riding his beloved motorcycle. He even wrote a book about it!
Chris died of congestive heart failure. He was peaceful and surrounded by family. Although his death was not anticipated by the medical staff, we believe that he made the decision to leave his body. He wouldn’t have wanted to live a diminished life and was, we are sure, happy to be reunited with his “boys”. A celebration of life will be held once travel and large groups are safe again.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor to the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association are appreciated.
The family would also like to thank Dr. Vaissman, who stepped into the huge shoes of Dr. Kalife and filled them well, the staff at Seton Ascension Round Rock, and his nurse, Heather.