Jason’s Deli founder Joe Tortorice Jr. dies at 70

Aug 11, 2019 165

BY: Chris Moore

Jason’s Deli founder and Beaumont native Joseph “Joe” Tortorice Jr. died Saturday after a 19-month battle with cancer. He was 70. Tortorice, the grandson of Italian immigrants, founded Jason’s Deli in 1976 and expanded the chain nationwide to more than 250 locations in 28 states.

“He has just a great story,” friend of Tortorice Jr. and former Lamar University President Jimmy Simmons said. “I had twin boys and he was their Little League coach. He was a dear friend and a terrific person.” Salvatore Tortorice, Joe Jr.’s grandfather, came to America in 1895 through Ellis Island from Gibellina, Sicily. He made it to Beaumont and eventually opened New Turf Cafe in 1950.

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SOURCE: https://www.houstonchronicle.com

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