Ethel (Goldstein)de la Torre
Ethel (Goldstein) de la Torre was born three days before Christmas in Brookline (Boston), Mass., and was raised there. She spent time as a Girl Scout and was extremely fond of the experience; it was there that she first developed a love for fishing.
Ethel went to Bridgeport (Conn.) College and majored in French. She married schoolmate Harvey Seltzer and later raised two children: Susan Biegeleisen, who resides in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany with her husband, Gerry, and their son, Eric; and son, Michael Seltzer, a professional trombonist and educator residing in Harlem, NYC.
The Seltzers stayed in Connecticut for some time; Ethel was a homemaker and fully catered many dinner parties for her husband’s B’nai B’rith and business functions. The family moved to Los Angeles when Susan was in grade school, settled in Brentwood, then ultimately Woodland Hills. Inspired by her own mother’s loss of sight, Ethel learned Braille early in her California years and transcribed numerous books. The Seltzers ended up divorcing in 1974, six years after Michael’s arrival.
As a newly single mother, she remade herself into a 1970s career woman and ultimately went on to work at Bullock’s department store in Sherman Oaks, where she later met Salvador de la Torre. They married in 1985. Sal had four adult children: Leslie, Raoul, Mark and Frank. When the couple retired from Bullock’s, they traveled extensively by motorhome across the USA, partially following Michael’s music performances, and stopping to explore all the small towns and attractions in between. They fished everywhere they went.
The couple eventually discovered Diaz Lake and later moved to the lake and Lone Pine. Soon they became camp hosts at Diaz Lake. Both became very active in the VFW, serving as president and commander many times. They attended every state and national VFW Convention that they could. Ethel served as a district officer and attended all meetings. She was an extremely organized lady, and was never without her two-year calendar. She also was an officer in AARP and volunteered at the Lone Pine Senior Center. She had an excellent memory, silly sense of humor, rebellious spirit and a progressive social stance.
She was an excellent cook; her recipes became staples at special events in the LP community and will be remembered in Lone Pine for her corned beef and cabbage, beer cheese and antipasta salad; in Connecticut for her taquitos; in L.A. for her matzah-ball soup; and in NYC for her gourmet mac and cheese.
A Life Celebration will be held at 1 p.m. this Saturday, Jan. 4 at the Lone Pine VFW Post. All are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the “Ladies Auxiliary Cancer Fund” c/o VFW Post 8036, P.O. Box 869, Lone Pine, CA 93545.