Father Lisle John Pottorff, Jr.
A beloved uncle to seven and priest to thousands, Father Lisle John Pottorff, Jr. died on June 25, 2021 at the age of 97 at the Catholic Care Center in Bel Aire, KS.
Father Pottorff was born in Wichita, KS on March 10, 1924 to Lisle John Pottorff, Sr. and Anne Regina (Carney). He attended Longfellow Grade School and Cathedral High School, both in Wichita. His seminary training was at Conception Seminary in Conception, MO. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, James P. Pottorff of Douglass, KS. His survivors include his niece, Mary E. Hill of Erie, CO; and nephews, James P. Pottorff, Jr. of Lawrence, KS; Richard M. Pottorff of Sunnyvale, CA; Michael L. Pottorff of Kalamazoo, MI; Mark D. Pottorff of Sergeant Bluff, IA; Stephen L. Pottorff of Fancy Gap, VA; and Timothy A. Pottorff of West Dundee, IL.
On April 23, 1949, Father Pottorff was ordained by Bishop Mark K. Carroll for the Catholic Diocese of Wichita. When the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City was established in 1951, he became one of their priests, serving there until his retirement.
His first assignment was as an assistant at St. Rose of Lima, Great Bend, KS. His first pastorate was with St. John the Baptist church in Meade, KS. Father Lisle next became the pastor of St. Joseph Church in Beaver, KS with a mission at St. Catherine in Dubuque, KS. Although both already had a school and a convent he built a new school in Beaver.
On October 15, 1965, Father Pottorff became the first pastor of St. Dominic in Garden City, KS, learning Spanish to better minister to his diverse and growing parish. A rectory, school, convent, and multipurpose room were all built while he was there. In 1970 he returned to Beaver and Dubuque. In 1972 he became Director of Catholic Social Services in Great Bend and continued in this role until 1982. The Emmaus House and a branch office were established in Garden City and the Family Crisis Center was opened in Great Bend during his directorship.
His subsequent parishes were Sacred Heart Church in Pratt, KS, St. Michael's Church in La Crosse, KS, and St. Boniface Church in Sharon, KS. He derived tremendous satisfaction and joy in his ministry and made lifelong friends in every parish to which he was assigned. He will be sorely missed.
After his retirement in 1992, he moved to Douglass and assisted his brother as a ranch hand, as well as supporting the pastors and congregation at St. James Church in Augusta, KS with Mass services and the sacraments. While at St. James, he began his Prison Ministry at the state penitentiary in El Dorado, one of the highlights of his lengthy career.
Father Lisle had a great and meaningful impact on many lives, making a positive difference in the lives of others. He was an avid outdoorsman and he especially loved his assignments to rural parishes where he was able to maintain close contact with his parishioners and the outdoors. He always had a joke or quip for any occasion, including the fact that he had no enemies because he had outlived them all.
The family wishes to extend its sincere appreciation and thanks to Mary and Ed Rubeck for their friendship and support to Father Lisle, especially in his final years, and to the physicians, nurses, and staff at the Catholic Care Center for their dedication and kindness in the care of our uncle.
A Visitation will be held on July 5, 2021 from 5:00 - 7:00 PM at Headley Funeral Chapel in Augusta, KS. A Vigil and Rosary will be held on July 6, 2021 at 10:30 AM at St. James Church, 1012 E Belmont in Augusta followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery, also in Augusta, following the service.
Memorial donations may be made to the Priest Retirement Center 6900 E 45th St. N Bel Aire, KS 67226 or St. James Catholic Church 1012 E Belmont Augusta, KS 67010.
Published on June 28, 2021