In 2003, Trudy suddenly became ill and died a few months later of brain cancer. She was only 57.
She and her family had been active in their church for many years, and her memorial service was attended by more than 500 friends. At the risk of sounding irreverent, that celebration of Trudy's life was more joyful than most weddings. Just about everyone in the church knew her and her family, and most very well.
When we were kids, Trudy was a wonderful and true Christian, and we all knew she'd gone off to a wonderful place where her friends and family would eventually rejoin her.
Trudy lived near me in West Fullerton, and I met her when I was a freshman, and her a junior. She encouraged me and we became bus-riding friends.
Trudy met her husband Dick in her junior year when he was a SHHS bus driver who refused to let her ride up to Susan Baughn's house because Trudy didn't have a bus pass! She was impressed by his integrity and honesty, though, and just a few years later they were married.
Trudy said, "The best decision I ever made was to marry that guy".
Trudy and Dick raised several children and also many foster children, and made their home in Corona.
Trudy had legions of friends all her life, despite her shy, humble manner. She mentioned many of them often -- Dawn Ambridge, Terri Messick, Kathy Burke, Jeannie Skinner, Susan Baughn and others -- and specifically singled out Nancy Andre, '65, as someone who encouraged her, made her feel at ease at SHHS, and helped her.
I never met a nicer, sweeter, kinder human being than Trudy -- and I don't think any happier one, either. I know many of you feel the same way.