Father Basil Torrez | Obituary

Press Releases
Dec 7, 2023

Father Basil Torrez was born on June 14, 1929, to Jose and Dionisia (Villalobos) Torrez in Kanopolis. He died on December 5, 2023 at the age of 94.

Father Torrez was one of twelve children. He attended high school in Kanopolis before later going to Conception, Missouri for seminary. He was ordained on May 26, 1956, at the Sacred Heart Cathedral by Bishop Frank Thill.

An article from the 1980s shares that one of Father Torrez’s passions and hobbies was designing quilts. A favorite of his was a quilt he designed that depicted his family tree. He also enjoyed cross-stitching, collecting music boxes and being involved with high school athletics.

A letter from the 1990s announcing his retirement praises Father Torrez’s contributions to the Hispanic community. “During his forty years of priestly service, Father Torrez has given something of a Spanish atmosphere to the parishes he has served. As the only living native born priest in the Salina Diocese, he has shared some of the Spanish culture with his parishioners such as its songs and fiesta games. Parishioners have delighted in singing Adios Regina Cielo, and young people have been enamored with the pinata amusement.”

His assignments included:

1956 – pastor of St. Martin, Seguin; St. Frances Cabrini, Hoxie

1958 – pastor of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Kanopolis; St. Joseph, Brookville; St. Mary, Holyrood; with care of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Salina

1959 – along with current duties, added St. Joseph, Brookville; St. Mary, Holyrood

1960 – administrator of St. Phillip, Hope; with assistance at St. Andrew Elementary, Abilene

1965 – pastor of Holy Cross, Pfeifer

1967 – pastor of Holy Ghost, Sharon Springs; St. Peter, Wallace

1977 – pastor of Immaculate Conception, Grinnell; St. Paul, Angelus

1983 – pastor of St. Augustine, Washington; Ss. Peter and Paul, Morrowville

1993 – pastor of St. Michael, Collyer; St. Anthony, St. Peter

1999 – retired to Collyer

In the letter announcing his retirement to Collyer, Father Torrez said, “I have always liked western Kansas. I started my priestly life in Hoxie and Seguin, and most of my priestly life has been spent in western Kansas.”

Visitation will begin at 5:30 pm at St. Michael Church, Collyer on Monday, December 11, 2023, followed by the parish vigil at 7:00pm. A Rosary will be led by the Knights of Columbus following the vigil.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Michael Church, Collyer on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, 11:00 am followed by burial in the St. Michael Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be given to the St. Michael Cemetery fund. Words of support and memories may be left for the family at www.schmittfuneral.com