Grace Chapel community pays tribute to Dr. Torgerson

Torgerson Gymnasium named in his honor
Feb. 08, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Beloved family man. Passionate advocate. Follower of Christ.

These were among the words used to describe Dr. Brian Torgerson Thursday night at Grace Chapel Church, as dozens of friends and family gathered in his honor.

"In each of our own way, we'll pay tribute to how the Lord used Brian Torgerson," said Grace Chapel Church Pastor Rudy Holland. "He was a pastor's friend."

The long-time chairman of the Grace Christian School Board succumbed to cancer in February 2012 following years of service to the Grace community. His three children lettered in multiple sports before graduating from Grace Christian, inspiring Torgerson to support and expand the athletic programs, Holland said.

Torgerson is credited with helping place wood floors in the gym, expanding the concession stand, putting bleachers in and a score of other items, said Grace Christian School Headmaster Bill Carver. He acted as the unofficial basketball physician for the teams and never missed a game, long after his children graduated, Carver said. In memory of Torgerson, the Grace Christian School gym is named Torgerson Gymnasium now, with a plaque at the front entrance.

"I am very humbled," said Torgerson's wife, Candy, who serves as the school nurse. "Very humbled he was picked out to be honored."

The family became hooked on serving the school, she said. Torgerson became invested in the children's well-being as if they were his own.

"There was a real bond in how sports can help form positive character traits," Candy Torgerson said. "With a spiritual emphasis."

Torgerson is also noted for using his physician career to serve God and others, Holland said. After a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, Torgerson came back changed and insisted on forming a medical mission, Holland said. The trip is now a yearly tradition for Grace, and Holland said he just returned from the Dominican where local physicians performed more than 40 surgeries, visited more than 700 patients and served an orphanage.

"All of that," Holland said, "is an outgrowth of Brian."

The service, plaque and gymnasium name are all small tributes and the least the community could do, he said.

"It is our small way of say thank you to a man that touched so many lives," Holland said.