Louis “Louie” Torrez, 94 of Topeka, Kansas, was reunited with his Lord and family, on Sunday, May 17, 2020.
Louie was born in a box car on August 19, 1925, in Pauline, Kansas. Son of Mariano Torrez and Maria Refugio (Valdivia) Torrez.
He attended Our Lady of Guadalupe School, East Topeka Junior High, Clark’s School of Business, and received his general education diploma. He also served as a model for Dr. Tillson’s art class at Washburn University.
Louie was very proud of his country and considered it a great honor to serve in the U.S. Army, as a Private First-Class during WWII under General Patton’s Third Army, 80th Division, 318th Infantry Regiment. He served in Rhineland, Central Europe, and he was wounded in France. He was honorably discharged on April 25, 1956. He received the following decorations and citations; EAMET Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Victory Ribbon, and the Rifleman’s Medal.
He was employed at Colmery-O'Neil Veterans Administration Medical Center as a psychiatric attendant for 9 years and a medical nursing assistant for 21 years. Before retiring August 19, 1980, he had the honor of working with Dr. W. Walter Menninger and high ranking VA Officials to help shape what the VA medical workforce is today.
He was a life member of the Disabled American Veterans Topeka 3rd chapter, Veteran of Foreign Wars-Phillip Billard Post 1650, and the American Legion Post 400. Louie was a lifetime member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church where he served as a Sacristan, Eucharistic Minister, Acolyte, and Lector. Mr. Torrez was a member of the Augustinian Third Order, Legion of Mary, and Perpetual Adoration which also included Saint Joseph Catholic Church. Louie recruited others to volunteer to clean the church and participate in Perpetual Adoration. For many years, he enjoyed serving enchiladas in the upstairs kitchen during the annual Fiesta Mexicana. This was no easy task, yet Louie felt it was his obligation to help his church and continued doing this activity until his mid 80's.
Louie's father, mother, three brothers and one sister immigrated from Leon, Juanajuato, Mexico, in 1917. Louie was the last member of the Torrez first generation family. He was preceded in death by both his parents; his brothers, Macario Torrez, Juan "John" Torrez, Perfecto Torrez and Cirilo Torrez; his sisters; Manuela “Nellie” Torrez Lopez, Lucia Torrez Garcia, Jesús “Hazel” Torrez, Antonia Torrez Zuniga, and Concepción “Connie” Torrez Ramirez.
Louie loved life, reading, cooking (& critiquing) Mexican food, dancing, flowers, birds and his perfect head of hair. He was so sharp and could remember the finest details and events. His family and friends always enjoyed listening to his stories and fond memories. He was always well dressed and had an eye for beautiful things. He was devoted to serving God and loved volunteering at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, his home away from home. Family was so important to Louie, that he started the annual Torrez family reunions, a tradition that still remains today. He took great pride in making his chile con carne and loved tasting all the different foods his family prepared. Louie had many nieces, nephews and friends that he remembered each by face, name and family they belonged to. May we carry Tió Louie's memory in our hearts, by loving one another, forgiving each other and praying in all situations.
A special thank you, to the VA Home Based Primary Care Team and Louie's neighbors, Javier and Lucy Escalante. Because they loved and treated Louie like a father, their constant companionship and care enabled him to remain near his church and in his home until he was 92. We are sincerely grateful to Becky S., Hillsdale Place and Heartland Hospice. At a time when it was needed most, your many acts of kindness and compassion, were a true blessing and expression of God's love and grace for Louie.
In compliance with state and liturgical guidelines seating will be limited to 48 in the church where face masks are required. Church seating will be prioritized for Louie's long-lived family and friends who require extra accommodations due to health or ability. Additional arrangements have been made for those bringing their own chairs to be seated in the church parking lot and the Marlo Cuevas Balandran Activity Center where audio and video of the service will be provided. Anyone being seated in the Activity Center will also need to have a face mask. Face masks are not required for outside seating.
Memorial contributions may be made in Louie’s memory to Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and sent in care of Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home, 800 SW 6th Ave., Topeka, Kansas 66603. Online condolences and fond memories may be left at www.brennanmathenafh.com.