Dalma Holloway Torres was a people person. She had to be, as a bus driver for MTA Long Island Bus for 28 years until her retirement in 2014.
“She was just one of those people who connected with people really well,” said her son, Keith H. Burgess, of Uniondale. “She came into contact with a lot of people and she was always remembered for her pretty smile.
“Mommy was one of a kind. We called her the life of the party. She loved life. She loved to laugh. Everybody knew her for her sense of humor. She had one of those smiles that would light up a room. And I truly believe she made the best fried chicken this side of heaven.”
Torres, a Uniondale resident, died on April 21 of complications from COVID-19 at the age of 73, according to her son, who is co-founder and pastor at Simon of Cyrene Ministries in Uniondale.
Torres enjoyed gambling and had a passion for slot machines — “the one-armed bandit,” quipped Burgess.
“We actually got her a personalized stool, and she would sit right there for hours,” Burgess said. “I always said that she had timeshares between Atlantic City, Yonkers and the new casino they’ve got in Queens. She loved the excitement. She loved the noise. She loved it when other people would win.”
According to Burgess, Torres won a sizable amount at the slots during a trip to Las Vegas for her 60th birthday. She used the winnings to redo her kitchen and bought a new TV set for the living room to watch her favorite team, the Jets.
“My mother was the No. 1 New York Jets fan on Long Island,” Burgess said. “She bled green and white.”
Other survivors include son Kenneth Williams, of Uniondale; daughter Dollicia Torres, of Uniondale; sisters Doreen Burgess, of Hempstead, and Narlene Holloway of Brooklyn; four grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and daughter-in-law Altanya Burgess.
The family has established the Dalma A. Torres COVID-19 Relief Fund, which Burgess said is already providing food to first responders in Westbury.
A memorial service is planned May 20 in Harlem by A.E. Brown Funeral Home.
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