Arthur Torres — who spread mischief, told tall tales, made friends wherever he went, and lived life on his own terms entirely untroubled by the judgment or expectations of others — passed away on October 23, 2021, while vacationing with his wife, Emily Glick. He grew up in the Bronx, but his only true home was Vermont. He lived there with Emily for nearly 20 years, and they were deeply in love.
If you spent time on Church Street, you probably saw Arthur cruising by in his power chair with a dog by his side or in his lap. Or maybe you met him at one of his favorite haunts: Stone Soup, Muddy Waters, RJs, Foam or Red Panda. Arthur lived his last two years in Oregon but returned frequently to Burlington for visits.
Arthur’s illnesses — multiple sclerosis and myotonic muscular dystrophy — imposed more and more limitations every year. But he persevered with an unsinkable spirit and his wicked sense of humor. He traveled frequently and developed ingenious strategies for racking up frequent-flier miles and hotel points — even collecting enough miles to fly him and Emily to the Maldives free of cost.
Before Arthur was confined to a wheelchair, he loved cycling, especially along the causeway. He found cycling easier and less painful than walking. After he could no longer cycle, Arthur took up swimming and snorkeling. He enjoyed a special freedom in the water, unencumbered by his stiff and weakened legs.
Arthur did not want anyone’s pity or sympathy but would happily accept a beer, an invite to a party, or a good game of speed chess or Texas Hold’em. He usually won. For fun, Arthur figured out how to count cards and managed to get himself banned from a few casino blackjack tables — he considered it somewhat of an accomplishment.
Arthur was committed to animal rights and environmental causes. Once a self-described “carnivore,” he became a vegan after learning about the environmental impact of animal agriculture and factory farming. He made contributions to Mercy for Animals (mercyforanimals.org), Farm Sanctuary (farmsanctuary.org) and Greenpeace (engage.us.greenpeace.org). Please consider honoring his memory with donations to any of these organizations.
We plan to hold a memorial in Burlington (as well as virtually) at a date to be announced but likely in May 2022. Please bring your fondest memories and best stories about Arthur and his outrageous antics.
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