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Joseph A. Torkaman, 28, Hawthorne, California, formerly of Alfred NY


Joseph A. Torkaman, 29, a resident of Hawthorne, California, passed away suddenly Tuesday, June 28, 2022, as a result of a diving accident while visiting his grandparents in Alfred.

 Born in Hornell, NY, October 11, 1992, he was a graduate of Alfred Almond Central School. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering, and his Master’s Degree in Human Centered Design. He moved to California where he was employed as a Space Operational Engineer for SpaceX in Hawthorne.

 He was predeceased by his grandfather Abdullah Faraj Torkaman, and step grandfather Robert Matz. Surviving are his parents, Masoud Faraj-Torkaman and Lucinda Snyder of Martinez, Georgia; his sister, Sarah Torkaman of South Carolina, his brother, Nathan (Ayaka) Torkaman of California, his maternal grandparents, Nelson and Amanda Snyder of Alfred Station, and his paternal grandmother, Ghadam Matz of Georgia. Joseph’s Aunts and Uncles, Nasrin (James) Lopez; Saeed (Shannon Davis) Faraj; Melissa (Rod) Noel; and Curtis (Jeanette) Snyder. Cousins Nicole and Michael Lopez; Brandon, Alex, Sabella, and Sage Faraj; Dorothy, Caleb and Abigail Noel; Miranda (Andrew) Garcia, Kristine (Mark) Rios, Celeste, Rocio, Delilah, and Sadie Snyder.

His friend Ryan Smith wrote this about Joseph and it exemplifies his life: “Joe, your smile was contagious. When times were feeling tough, we knew we could reach out to you to brighten our day. You never said no to the next adventure. And as we finished one, you were already planning the next. You had dreams and ideas beyond what any of us can imagine. You saw no ceiling and that the world is full of endless possibilities. You laughed louder than any of us and captured all the moments before they passed by.

You climbed to the highest peaks with us. You helped us send rockets to space. You hugged us so hard our backs would pop. But most importantly, you lived every day like it might be your last.

You might have left us now. But you will never truly leave us. Just as you carried us through different facets and aspects of our lives, we now return the favor. It’s our turn now to carry you wherever we go. To take you to those places we haven’t been yet. To the ones we planned to go. We promise we will still get there, and when we do — we will feel you in spirit.

You shaped all of us into the climbers that we are. The engineers. The scientists. The friends. The family. We are one big family now because of you. We might be missing our biggest part, but you created this. And we get it now. You gave us each other so that when life comes fast and is too short – we have each other to hold on to.

Thank you for impacting all of our lives in the many different ways that you did.

Today and every day, we honor you.”

 Joseph learned about Jesus at Camp Harley Sutton and while at Florida Institute of Technology he asked Jesus to be his Savior and was baptized. Joseph took his Faith with him wherever he went. He shared it with those he met.

Joseph was an advocate for the outdoors, climbing, space, and mental health. Friends wishing to honor Joseph, may consider a contribution to “To Write Love On Her Arms’ by visiting 2022 Supporter Benefits which is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery. Another place to contribute in Joseph’s name is Camp Harley Sutton through Paypal at or checks written to ‘Camp Harley Sutton’ can be sent to 161 N. Highland Ave., Wellsville, NY 14895.

Calling hours will be July 10, 2022 at Alfred-Almond Central School in Almond, NY, from 1-3 pm, with a Memorial service following at 3pm. Burial will be at the Alfred Rural Cemetery.

To send a remembrance to the family, please visit or on Facebook@brownpowersfh The family is being assisted by Gerald R. Brown, Director at Bender-Brown & Powers Funeral Home of Hornell.

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