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Joseph "Joe" Tortorice Jr. '70 August 12, 2019 9:23 AM updated: August 13, 2019 12:16 PM

Broussards Mortuary obituary
2000 McFaddin Avenue. Beaumont, Texas 77701
PHONE NUMBER
409.832.1621
EMAIL ADDRESS
mcfaddin@broussards18

JOSEPH "JOE" TORTORICE, JR.
October 24, 1948, August 10, 2019

oe Tortorice Jr., our beloved Servant Leader, died August 10, 2019. He was born on October 24, 1948 in Beaumont, Texas to Margaret Montalbano Tortorice and Joseph Vincent Tortorice Sr. He lived nearly all his life in the Beaumont community where he first attended St. Anthony Catholic School and later Monsignor Kelly High School. He was a proud member of the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University and graduated in 1970. After graduation, Joe served two years in the United States Air Force and later received his M.B.A. from Lamar University. In 1971, Joe married Shelley Bill Schoolfield and in November 1976 they opened the first Jason’s Deli in Beaumont, Texas. With the help of family and friends, they grew from humble beginnings into a national brand with 294 restaurants in 28 states. He was a true innovator, entrepreneur and a visionary with awards and achievements too many to mention.

Beyond his business success and accolades, Joe found his greatest happiness and life’s work in serving others. He used his time, talent, and company as a conduit for spreading his messages of gratefulness, servant leadership and faith. Joe touched and inspired legions to be better people by living his motto “that you can get everything you want out of life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” He was eternally positive and extremely humble. Joe was a dedicated man of action who made the most of each day, and a deeply devoted family man. Joe always gave everyone he encountered the respect of his time. He believed in people, cared about their well-being, and today many tie their success in life to him.

Joe was a faithful member of St. Anthony’s Cathedral Basilica and was tirelessly involved in many ministries, being most proud of his Kolbe Prison Ministry. He was a proud Fightin’ Texas Aggie and recent recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award.

He is survived by his mother, Margaret Montalbano Tortorice; wife of forty-eight years, Shelley Schoolfield Tortorice; sons, Joseph V. Tortorice, III and his wife, Jenny; Robert C. Tortorice and his wife Bonnie; and daughter, Ashley C. Messina and her husband, Greg, all of Beaumont; grandchildren, Joseph Tortorice IV, Luke Tortorice, Lainey Tortorice, Robert Tortorice, Joey Tortorice, Mary Margaret Tortorice, Georgia Messina, Olivia Messina and Maceo Messina; sisters, Judy Tortorice McFarland, Pinky Tortorice Carden and Suzanne Tortorice Jones. Additionally, Joe leaves behind his Jason’s Deli family whom he loved dearly.

A gathering of Mr. Tortorice’s family and friends will begin at 4:00 p.m., with his Rosary recited at 6:00 p.m., Thursday, August 15, 2019, at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica, 700 Jefferson Street, Beaumont. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., Friday, August 16, 2019, at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica, under the direction of Broussard’s, 2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont. His entombment, with military honors, will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Beaumont, with a reception to follow at Beaumont Country Club, 5355 Pine Street, Beaumont.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Anne Catholic School, 375 North 11th Street, Beaumont, Texas 77702 or to Monsignor Kelly High School, 5950 Kelly Drive, Beaumont, Texas 77707 or to MD Anderson Cancer Center c/o Dr. Robert Wolff P.O. Box 4486, Houston, Texas 77210.


GATHERING OF MR. TORTORICE'S FAMILY AND FRIENDS
St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica
700 Jefferson Beaumont, TX 77701
Thursday, August 15, 2019
4:00 p.m.

ROSARY
St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica
700 Jefferson Beaumont, TX 77701
Thursday, August 15, 2019
6:00 p.m.

MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL
St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica
700 Jefferson Beaumont, TX 77701
Friday, August 16, 2019
10:00 a.m.

ENTOMBMENT
Forest Lawn Memorial Park
4955 Pine St Beaumont, TX 77703
______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Broussards Mortuary services notice
2000 McFaddin Avenue. Beaumont, Texas 77701
PHONE NUMBER
409.832.1621
EMAIL ADDRESS
mcfaddin@broussards18

JOSEPH "JOE" TORTORICE, JR.
October 24, 1948, August 10, 2019

Joseph “Joe” Tortorice, Jr., 70, of Beaumont, died Saturday, August 10, 2019.

A gathering of Mr. Tortorice’s family and friends will begin at 4:00 p.m., with his Rosary recited at 6:00 p.m., Thursday, August 15, 2019, at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica, 700 Jefferson Street, Beaumont. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., Friday, August 16, 2019, at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica, under the direction of Broussard’s, 2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont. His entombment, with military honors, will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Beaumont, with a reception to follow at Beaumont Country Club, 5355 Pine Street, Beaumont.


GATHERING OF MR. TORTORICE'S FAMILY AND FRIENDS
St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica
700 Jefferson Beaumont, TX 77701
Thursday, August 15, 2019
4:00 p.m.

ROSARY
St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica
700 Jefferson Beaumont, TX 77701
Thursday, August 15, 2019
6:00 p.m.

MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL
St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica
700 Jefferson Beaumont, TX 77701
Friday, August 16, 2019
10:00 a.m.

ENTOMBMENT
Forest Lawn Memorial Park
4955 Pine St Beaumont, TX 77703
______________________________________________________________________________________________________
https://www.panews.com/2019/08/10/influential-jasons-deli-founder-joe-tortorice-jr-passes-away/

Influential Jason’s Deli founder Joe Tortorice Jr. passes away

By Mary Meaux

Published 7:29 pm Saturday, August 10, 2019
(The Port Arthur News)

Southeast Texans are mourning Joe Tortorice, 70, founder of Jason’s Deli, who died on Saturday after battling cancer.

Port Arthur native Damon West, motivational speaker, life coach and author, has known Tortorice for many years and considers him an inspiration.

“Joe Tortorice and I met through Kolbe Prison Ministries, where he taught me, by his example, how to be a servant leader,” West said. “His love for some of the most forgotten, most marginalized and most reviled in society was the purest example I have ever seen of the verse, Matthew 25:36.

“As a dedicated servant leader, he measured each day with how much he could put back into the stream of life. He always made people feel so important because he freely gave his most precious resource: time. His commitment to his faith, his family, his business, his community and to helping others was unmatched. He was one of the greatest men this world has ever known.”

Tortorice, a Beaumont native, spoke often of being a servant leader. Back in 2016 he was keynote speaker at the Port Neches Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet.

He told of how he drew inspiration from different sources. There is David Glass, retired CEO of Walmart, who tells of servant leadership and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning in which he chronicles life as a concentration camp prisoner and the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence.

Texas A&M University Association of Former Students recently named him one of their distinguished alumni, saying Tortorice, “founded Jason’s Deli in 1976; the restaurant chain has since expanded to 284 delis in 28 states and was the first national chain restaurant to eliminate partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate and artificial dyes from its menu. Its Career Path program helps employees learn life skills and pace their own growth.”

At A&M, Tortorice was a member of the Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor and an Outstanding Alumnus of the Mays Business School who has served on many A&M development councils.

Tortorice was part of the Catholic Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. He was active with Beaumont’s St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica ACTS ministry; St. Mary’s in College Station and Kolbe ministry to prisons and has been a Bishop’s Faith Appeal director in Beaumont and a member of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors.

Services are pending with Broussard’s Mortuary, Beaumont.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________
https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/local/jasons-deli-founder-president-joe-tortorice-jr-dies-at-70/502-6c374c65-be78-4a7f-b241-c5dfe64c9879?fbclid=IwAR2c_AjsELHVIBXF5mpOrbaqzx9vLuKsOJlYpsie7rKhfvO6uD4H_cr_4f4

Jason's Deli founder, president Joe Tortorice Jr. dies at 70
Tortorice considered himself a servant even to his own employees.
Author: KBMT
Published: 1:21 PM CDT August 10, 2019
Updated: 2:00 PM CDT August 11, 2019
BEAUMONT, Texas — Beaumont native and Jason's Deli founder and president Joe Tortorice Jr. died Saturday morning after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 70.

Tortorice credited his father with having a "way with people,” but he was the one who captivated even the nominal acquaintance. Until recently you could see him at the restaurant chain’s Gateway Shopping Center store almost every day.

In business Tortorice seems to have had "the secret” and it wasn't just the free soft- serve ice cream at the end of a meal.

RELATED: Funeral arrangements announced for Joe Tortorice Jr.

He towered over business colleagues with a company that could boast annual revenues of half a billion dollars.

Tortorice, who served as a director for Midsouth Bank and won numerous business leadership awards, was also honored in the Southeast Texas community, winning the Gift of Life’s "Spirit of Love” award and serving as “King Neches” at the Neches River Festival.

Jason's Deli blossomed from its original location at Gateway Shopping Center in Beaumont to 294 stores in 28 states.

But the real "secret" to Tortorice’s success in his words was "servant leadership."

He considered himself a servant even to his own employees as he shared in several interviews.

He took pride in having more than 12,000 employees and one of the lowest turnover rates in the restaurant industry.

According to Tortorice some of his employees worked at Jason's Deli for 40 years.

Earlier this year, Jason's Deli beat Whataburger and Fuddruckers to be named the highest ranked restaurant chain in Texas according to "Business Insider."

After earning a marketing degree at Texas A&M, where he served as a cadet and commanding officer of first group staff, Tortorice served for two years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force.

Tortorice, who had watched his father put a deli into his Beaumont grocery store, started his own deli in Beaumont in 1976.

Jason's Deli got its name from Tortorice’s oldest son, Jay.

Within two years Jason’s Deli had branched out to area towns and within 12 years he opened his first franchise store in Tuscon, Arizona.

Tortorice, who had a passion for God and was very active in the Catholic Church and in the Kolbe Prison Ministry through the Diocese of Beaumont.

He was the director for the ministry’s retreat at the Stiles Unit in Beaumont and on Monday nights would visit the inmates there on Monday nights to read scripture with them.

In the past year when Tortorice’s illness kept him from those Monday night visits the inmates would pray for him according to Steve McGaha, Director of Criminal Justice at the Diocese of Beaumont.

“They will be heartbroken when they hear he has passed,” McGaha told 12News.

He ate at Jason's Deli almost every weekday and revolutionized the restaurant industry by taking hydrogenated oils out of the food at his beloved restaurant.

Tortorice was bigger than his headlines and said he believed all his customers and employees had hopes and dreams.

He said putting their needs first would work and it did.

Although Jason’s Deli, with franchise stores in more than half of America, made him a resounding success Tortorice once said he considered "success" taking ownership of the well-being of others.

Jason’s Deli remains a family business where Tortorice’s son Jay now owns 16 Jason's Deli stores, his daughter, Ashley, is Director of Customer Relations and his son, Rob, is Chief Operating Officer.

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