Clutching candles, flowers and purple balloons, friends and family members of Patricia Torbicki gathered in Mill Pond Park at dusk Sunday to remember the vibrant, friendly woman who loved to sing and had an unshakable faith.
“The biggest thing we can share is our memories,’’ said the Rev. Joel Rissinger, of Mill Pond Church, which Torbicki had attended for nearly a decade. “Everybody loved her and she will be greatly missed.”
Torbicki, 46, was discovered Thursday morning in the doorway of her home at 52 Gilbert Road. Her death is considered a homicide.
Torbicki’s husband, Michael Torbicki, has been identified by police as a suspect, although no arrests have been made. Michael Torbicki was hospitalized for undisclosed injuries.
The memorial service near the gazebo in Mill Pond Park drew more than 200 people, most of whom raised their hand when Rissinger asked if they knew Torbicki.
Later, he asked the crowd to think of a word that captured an aspect of Torbicki’s personality. “Generous,” “loving” and “moxie” were some of the phrases shouted into the night air.
A loyal fan of the Denver Broncos, Torbicki loved music and was a member of the church’s praise band, Rissinger said. She also taught in the children’s ministry.
Rissinger said Torbicki’s parents, sisters and extended family have been inundated with support from the community — along with platters of food, including cannoli in honor of their Italian heritage.
“This has been a horrible tragedy for all of us,’’ the pastor told the crowd, some of whom wept openly.
Surveying the hundreds of flickering candles before him, he said, “this is such a comfort to the family and all of [Torbicki’s] friends. It’s just tremendous.”
Subscribe and listen to the Capitol Watch Podcast