Bernardo Torres Laracuente, resident of Asheville and known as Bernardo Torres, passed away on September 11, 2018 after valiantly struggling with cancer for six years. He passed peacefully at Mission Hospital at the age of 69 years.
Born in Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico, on August 14, 1949, to parents Bernardino Torres Lopes and Monserrate Laracuente Marrero, he was encouraged to study and become a professional; to change the world. To that end, Bernardo received his BA in Biology at the University of Puerto Rico and later went on to receive his Master’s.
While attending the university he attended the R.O.T.C. Academy and was received as a 2nd Lieutenant. After serving in the US Army in Texas and Korea, he moved to California to work in Silicon Valley. While there he was involved in a renowned project with the U.S. positioning of a moving robot on Mars (1974) and completed work on his Master’s Degree in Computer Science. He later lived and worked in Texas and West Virginia before moving to Asheville in 2004 to take a job at TMC Technologies as an IT Systems Administrator. He went on to become Team Lead on a major project (CLASS) for the National Climatic Data Center. He retired in 2012 after being diagnosed with cancer.
Bernardo’s favorite hobby was books. He read many, many books throughout his life. As a child, two of the walls in the room he shared with his brother were covered with books and he read every one of them. This pattern continued to the end when he was taking advantage of technology and reading eBooks on his tablet while renting a storage building to store his boxes of books. Family and friends were amazed at his memory and ability to recall facts and figures. He was like a walking encyclopedia relating facts on any subject brought up.
Bernardo, the oldest of three, is survived by siblings in Puerto Rico (brother Walter and sister Mirna), his “Sweetie” Gail Pace, numerous members of Gail’s family in Asheville who took Bernardo in as their own, and Gail’s dog Mitsy who he adored and was his constant companion while Gail was at work. Bernardo is greatly missed.
At the request of Walter and Mirna, Bernardo was returned to Puerto Rico for burial.
At Bernardo’s request there will be no service in Asheville. In his honor donations may be made to Hospice. A Celebration of Life may be forthcoming at a later date.