Benny Victor LaTorra

September 8th, 1928February 9th, 2019

Benny V. LaTorra passed into heaven on February 9, 2019.  Ben was a true original – a Boulder native born 9/8/1928 to Italian immigrant parents.  He was known around Boulder as “Vic” and attended Whittier School and Boulder High.  In 1943, he joined the Merchant Marine and eventually entered the US Navy where he traveled the world, learning the engineering systems on ships while serving during WWII and the Korean War.   During a recruiting stint in Sioux City, Iowa he met Kathleen (Kathy) Shane and they married in 1954.  It was months before she learned that his real given name was Benny!   The next assignment in San Diego began many tours at sea away from home during the Vietnam Era.  They had three children and he achieved the rank of Lt. Commander. In 1967 he was assigned to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center where he oversaw the engineering training schools. 

Ben retired from the US Navy in 1969 and returned to Boulder, CO where he worked for Dow Chemical, the Boulder County Assessors office from 1973-1978 as an appraiser, and Neodata as a facilities manager from 1979 to 1986.  Retiring from outside work life, he was able to enjoy his love of golf, watching all sports, and a growing family.  He became trained and certified in golf club repair and built custom clubs for many golf courses around Boulder County.  Ben was a founding member of the MOAA (Military Officers Assoc. of America) Boulder Chapter, member of Boulder Elks Club, and the VFW of Lafayette.

In later years he enjoyed family life, time with his beloved Kathy and an occasional trip to Blackhawk where he became a master blackjack player.  Ben participated in several poker groups and enjoyed the company of old friends on Saturday mornings at their bank in Gunbarrel.  There was never a more personable, kind, and loving man, who had a wonderful sense of humor.   He was a true fighter and survivor as he endured many medical issues but never gave up on life.  Ben was preceded in death by his wife Kathy who passed away in 2010.  He is survived by his children Connie Meine and husband Jim Meine,  David LaTorra, and Steven LaTorra and wife Andrea; grandchildren Allison Schoenberger and husband Nick,  Scott Meine and wife Melissa,  Jaimee LaTorra, Jennifer LaTorra, Molly LaTorra, and great-grandchild Kennedy Schoenberger. 

 

Services

A private service will be held at Ft. Logan National Cemetery on Wed. Feb. 20th at 1:30 pm. Friends are invited to join the family at Olive Garden Restaurant located at 7655 W.  Alameda Ave. in Lakewood following the service at 2:30 pm.

 

Cemetery

None

Location

None

Church

None

Condolences

Worked for Ben for a number of years! So sorry to hear this. RIP Ben!
Connie, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. He was a wonderful man. I had the honor of working with him (and you!) at the assessor' office and then at Neodata. Sending prayers to you and your family. Ricki Hetherington.
Dave, Chuck (Steve) and Connie, What a wonderful human being your dad was...the best! He always saw the best in people and for me he was a life saver! The card games...the golf tournaments..of which I shined...not! Working with him was an absolute joy and I was fortunate to follow in his footsteps at Neodata. I am still playing golf with clubs he designed and made for me...it improved my golf game if that was ever possible..haha! I grieve with you and know his legacy will follow him in far into the future. God bless...and may He keep you and bless you in your time and grief. I will miss him. Rich Garrison
Ben was a founding member of our Military Officers Association. I thank him for his service to our country both while he was on active duty, and as he continued to support our armed forces all his life. I will miss his droll sense of humor and, no matter what the circumstance, his positive outlook on life. Charles E. Cooprider, Lt. Col, USAF, Ret.
Nettie and I send our condolences to the Latorra family. We have many good memories of Ben and Kathy at the card table and Ben with Pony League baseball. Bill & Nettie Ashbee
Ben was the very embodiment of the American dream. That a poor Italian teenager who left home at 16 to join the Merchant Marine and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander says it all. That alone gives you pause. We loved to hear his stories of his many encounters and ports of call during his career in the Navy. Hard work, decency, patriotism, and love of family were hallmarks of his life "well lived". We know that God has a great chief engineer on board now and it will be smooth sailing from here on out. Fair winds and following seas, to our good friend! Jude & Jim Ludwick
Ben and Kathy were a joy to have as neighbors, always smiling and welcoming, sitting in their lawn chairs in the driveway watching the neighborhood go by. When we moved to Colorado, we left all our family behind and Ben and Kathy were like an Aunt and Uncle to us, looking out for us in so many ways. It was an honor to know them and call them friends. Ben, you inspired me in ways you could never imagine. You faced the world with courage and grace and laughed your way through some tough times. The light may be gone from your window, but it will always shine in my heart. Cheers to you my friend, The Haid Family
We are so sorry to hear that Benny passed away. Benny, Kathy, Connie, Dave, and Steve, were the best neighbors, We all lived next door when we lived in Table Mesa. Michael and Steve were good friends. We moved to the Gunbarrel area and a few years later so did Benny and Kathy just down the street. Ray and Michael had all sorts of golf clubs repaired and grips that Benny did. Michael said he was the best. We were sad when Kathy passed as well. We know he will be greatly missed by his family an friends, he is now at rest with his lovely wife. God bless you all Ray & Sharon Pierson
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