Obituaries – Yldefonso “Poncho” Saenz Torres

A short bio as told by his son Marc Torres

My father Yldefonso Saenz Torres was born in Longmont, Colorado on March 11, 1931 and was raised in Van Horn, Texas where he went by the name of Poncho. He was an Alter boy in his youth. He used to hang around and help out at the El Capitan hotel where his father used to work. My father was very athletic and liked a wide variety sports. He was on the football team at Van Horn high school. He continued to live in Van Horn until he entered the United States Air Force in1953 where he was a navigator and eventually obtained the high rank of 1st lieutenant. In 1958 he was honorably discharged. After the service he moved to Southern California where he attended UCLA and also met my mother. After moving to Simi Valley they had one son, me.

In the early 1980’s my father embarked on a series of adventures through our National Parks working in Admissions where he was known as “Mr. Front Desk.” One of the fondest memories I have was a summer in Zion National Park where my father introduced me to people from around the world and other cultures. It was one of the best times of my life with my father. Just like hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It was nine miles downhill on the Kaibab trail and after a two day rest at the bottom, a 12 mile trek up the Bright Angel trail to the top. That was another epic summer with my dad. He went on to work at Lake Mead. The place he stayed the longest was Death Valley National Park in California. We didn’t do as much adventuring there as we did in the other national parks as the temperature in Death Valley reached as high as127° during the day. But he did manage to show me the highlights of the park. These adventures with my father helped form who I am today and my interest in the world and other people.

After retiring he moved back with his parents in Santa Monica, California to help care for his parents. In 2001 my father started living with me in Yucaipa, California where we spent a few years before relocating to my ranch in Lake View Terrace. He was enjoying his retirement by reading and rekindling his interest in politics where he was a staunch Democrat. He had other hobbies like gardening chili’s and going for walks with the dog and college sports. We use to like watching classic movies where he would tell me stories of the era the movie was in. He passed away on November 6, 2017 in Lake View Terrace, California.


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