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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Thomas R. Torinus

Issue Date: January 20, 2021

Thomas R. Torinus, 82, of Egg Harbor, passed away Friday, Jan. 8, 2021 in Egg Harbor after a long battle with rheumatoid arthritis.

Born Nov. 21, 1938 in De Pere, the second of six children, to John Bush and Louise Bambenek Torinus, the family moved with their father to several U.S. Army bases during World War II and returned to De Pere at the war's end. He graduated from St. Norbert's High School as Valedictorian in 1956. He then majored in Economics at Dartmouth College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, graduating in 1960.

He was a distinguished journalist, poet, spiritual director and teacher that loved big ideas, good writing and deep conversation over cups of coffee with family and friends. A great listener and teacher, he shared his wisdom and had many phrases, He was a gifted writer of poetry, always ready to jot down a new thought on a napkin or scrap paper, wrote poems for people about marriage, their lives and as they passed on. He was working on a book about the history and adventures of his spiritual path at the time of his death. He was a good skier and was a member of the Dartmouth Ski Team.

After college he worked as assistant to the general manager of the New York Daily News and then returned to Wisconsin to work for Post Corporation where he was a reporter, editorial page writer, editor, news director and general manager of Channel 11 in Green Bay. Known for his innovative and gutsy news approach, he took the station from last to first in the marketplace. While in Green Bay, he married Mary Glenn Sharp of Green Bay and they were together for over 55 years.

He and his two brothers bought the Menominee Herald-Leader in Menominee, Mi. in 1976 where he served as president and editor for six years. The newspaper won many journalism awards and launched the careers of many young journalists who went on to distinguished work in the field. After the company was sold in 1982, he and his wife moved to Chicago, Ill. and studied theology and spirituality at Loyola University, McCormick Theological Seminary and the Institute for Spiritual Leadership.

After earning two master's degrees, one in theology and one in pastoral counseling, they moved to Door County, where he served as a spiritual director. In addition to his teaching, counseling and journalistic writing, he left a legacy of improvements in Wisconsin.

He helped his brother, John buy Serigraph Inc. in West Bend, a manufacturer of graphic components and helped write a business plan to raise capital and served on its board of directors for 20 years. While in Menominee, he teamed with Tom Kuber, a prominent entrepreneur, to help redevelop the downtown and marina and to reinvent the city's economy. In recent years in Door County, he served in a leadership role for the Door County Community Foundation.

He is survived by two daughters, Alexandra Torinus of Wauwatosa and Elizabeth Torinus (Dan Fredman) of Hartland; two grandchildren; two brothers, John Torinus, Jr. (Caroline) of West Bend and Charles Torinus (Nancy) of Carbondale, Co.; two sisters, Laurel Culp (Peter) of Bradenton, Fla. and Nancy Neuman (Bill) of Portland, Oregon; two sisters-in-law, Maryclaire Torinus of Brookfield and Shirley Sharp of Atlanta, Ga. and 16 nieces and nephews.

Including his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Mark,

A Memorial Service and gathering will be held when COVID-19 allows, hopefully in summer in Door County. Huehns Funeral Home, Inc., Door County Crematory of Sturgeon Bay is assisting the family. Expressions of sympathy, memories and photos can be shared with family at www.huehnsfuneralhome.com.


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