Memorial held for Cornell Torrence at ECHS

Published 2:15 pm Thursday, March 23, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Family, former students, players, coaches and friends honored Coach Cornell Torrence Thursday during a memorial service at Escambia County High School.

Cornell passed away on March 20 at his residence surrounded by family and dedicated caregivers.

The memorial, which was held in the school’s Cornell Torrence Gymnasium, included songs of praise, prayer, scripture, recognition of condolences, a message of hope and a dove release.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Torrence taught in the Escambia County School System (Ala.) for some 39 years with stints at Escambia County Training School and ECHS. He was a physical education teacher and coached football and basketball at ECTS, and taught driver’s education and coached football and basketball at ECHS.

The gym at ECHS was named after him because of his legacy of service and excellence on Feb. 12, 2015.

Torrence dedicated his life to helping others in the community. For 45 years, he was a lifeguard at the Houston Avery Park Summer Youth Program. Later, he became director of Houston Avery Park.

Torrence was a founding member of the Progressive Civic and Recreational Club Inc. (PCRC) of Atmore.

The Rev. Dr. Douglas S. Forbes II gave the message of hope. He noted that Torrence’s favorite passage came from 1 Corinthians 13.

“We are celebrating a life well lived,” Forbes, Torrence’s grandson, said. “I never had to look for a mentor. I never had to look for a role model.”

Sisters of Zeta Phi Beta sorority and the Ladies of PCRC brought the flower arrangements to the front of the gymnasium, where the dove release was held.