The businessman who founded the national restaurant chain Jason’s Deli more than 40 years ago in Texas has died.
Joseph “Joe” Tortorice, Jr. (Photo courtesy: Broussard’s Mortuary)
A Jason’s Deli statement says Joe Tortorice Jr. died Saturday at age 70. A company spokeswoman says Tortorice had battled cancer. Tortorice was the grandson of Italian immigrants and it was his father’s investment in a little sandwich shop that inspired him to open his own restaurant. The first location opened in Beaumont in 1976. Jason’s Deli now has almost 300 U.S. locations including one in College Station and another planned in the near future in Bryan.
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 in Beaumont.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., Friday, August 16, 2019, at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica in Beaumont. His entombment, with military honors, will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Beaumont, with a reception to follow at the Beaumont Country Club.
Tortorice received his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Texas A&M and his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Lamar University.
As a cadet at Texas A&M, Tortorice was the Commanding Officer of First Group Staff, a member of Squadron-1, the Ross Volunteers and was active in Town Hall and the American Marketing Association. Click here to read more about his time at Texas A&M University.
Tortorice has received numerous community and business leadership awards, was named a Mays Business School Outstanding Alumnus in 2002 and received the 2005 Conn Family Entrepreneurial Leadership Award presented annually by the Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship.