Maruja (Mary) Bianchini Torres
WAMEGO- Maruja (Mary) Bianchini Torres, a resident of Valley Vista in Wamego passed away peacefully and quietly on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at the Wamego City Hospital. She was 92 years old.
Maruja was born in Heredia, Costa Rica on March 13, 1920 to Gonzalo Bianchini and Maria Sanchez Bianchini. She was the oldest of three children. She had 2 younger brothers. Her family eventually moved to Cartago, Costa Rica where she attended high school and the University of Costa Rica to pursue a career in education. At the age of 23, on December 23, 1944, Maruja married Fernando Vicenzi Torres, her childhood friend and sweetheart. In 1947, they moved to Lawrence, Kansas from Costa Rica to reside. Fernando pursued his career in the medical profession and served as the Consul of Costa Rica in Kansas and surrounding midwest states while Maruja attended the University of Kansas, hosted many diplomatic receptions and travelled with her husband on diplomatic business. Four children were born of these union, 3 sons and a daughter, however, 2 of the sons were stillborn at birth and preceded their mother in death. They later divorced in 1971.
In 1969, Maruja received her Bachelor of Art degree and a Master of Science degree in 1973. Her passion for education and her strong desire to achieve to the highest potential possible led her to become a candidate for a doctoral degree in Bilingual Education at Kansas State University in 1976.
More than anything in life, Maruja loved her family. There wasn’t a single sacrifice that she wouldn’t make for her family. She enjoyed festivities, dancing, and music, her culture and traditions of her native country.
She is survived by her daughter, Gianetta Brooks and fiancée, Alan Skidmore of Manhattan and son Dr. Guy and Melanie Torres of Henderson, Nevada, her brothers, Dr. Luis Bianchini and his wife, Enid of Eugene, Oregon, Gonzalo Bianchini and his wife, Luz Marina of Costa Rica, 5 grandchildren, Jeremy Hittle and his wife, Remi of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Autumn Hart and her husband Jessie of Spearfish, South Dakota, Ashley Lour and her husband Tim of Manhattan, Justin Torres, and Aaron Torres of Henderson, Nevada, 8 great- grandchildren, and her beloved brother-in laws, Dr. Humberto Coto of Tampa, Florida and Dr. Alfonso Torres of Portland, Oregon and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to her infant sons, she was preceded in death by her parents.
Cremation has taken place. Stewart Funeral Home of Wamego made the arrangements. Maruja’s final wish in life was to have her remains carried to Costa Rica to be laid to rest alongside her parents. Her journey home will take place in June where a celebration of her life will take place. Her daughter, Gianetta, Alan Skidmore and other family members will be accompanying Maruja home. Online condolences may be left at www.stewartfuneralhomes.com