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Blanca Torres, Trustee and Advocate, Dies of Aneurysm

Blanca Torres, 39, went to be with the Lord on Friday, August 6, at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after a brain aneurysm ruptured. She was a Trustee on the Northwest University Foundation Board and a leading advocate for the Hispanic community and for bridging cultures.

Blanca was the president and co-owner of EXPOnw, which organized events and conventions with a Latino focus. She was also the vice president of tu Decides, a statewide Bilingual newspaper covering Hispanic issues in English and Spanish.

She was born on August 16, 1970, in Pasco, Washington, to Abel and Belia Gonzalez. Her father, and the father of her eventual husband, Albert Torres, came to the United States from Mexico in the late 1960s as part of a guest worker program. Both Albert and Blanca worked hours in the fields to earn money. Blanca was born and grew up in Pasco, Washington, and she met Albert at Pasco High School.

In 2006, Albert and Blanca Torres were among just 20 people across the nation invited to the White House to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, according to the Tri-City Herald.

“Blanca Torres was one of those people who lit up every room she walked into,” stated Dr. Joseph Castleberry, the President of Northwest University. “She was truly filled with God’s Spirit, and she lived with a holy boldness that charmed and persuaded people to do the right thing for others and for themselves. While finances only permitted her to spend one year at Northwest University, she loved the time she spent with us. As she went out into the workforce, she made the most of the learning she attained here, as well as the spiritual formation she both received and shared with others in classes, chapel, and campus life. As she went on to business success, she was a great advocate for Northwest, constantly speaking about the university to prominent leaders around the state as well as to potential students.

“I cannot think of anything that would honor or please Blanca more than for people to give scholarship funds to help students like she was,” continued Dr. Castleberry. “That’s why her husband Albert and I have established the Blanca Torres Memorial Fund at Northwest University.”

Blanca is survived by her husband of 19 years, Albert, and sons Isaiah, 14, and Ezequiel, 11; her four sisters, Gracie Campos, Elizabeth Chronister, Araceli Sanchez, and Erika Zink; her brother, Samuel Gonzalez; and her parents, Abel and Belia Gonzalez.

Following is the schedule of memorial and funeral services for Blanca Torres. All services are open to the public.

Memorial service, 4:00 p.m. Friday, August 13, at Three Rivers Convention Center, 7016 West Grandridge Boulevard, Kennewick, WA 99336.

Funeral service, 10:00 a.m. Saturday, August 14, at Faith Assembly Christian Center, 7213 West Court Street, Pasco, WA 99301.

Graveside service, following the funeral service, at Sunset Memorial Gardens, 915 Bypass Highway, Richland, WA 99352.

Fellowship gathering, following the graveside service, at Faith Assembly Christian Center in Pasco.

Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2010