I knew Trudell was the one for me because of her compassionate heart. One day I had an extremely stressful day in ministry. I had to minister to a young couple whose infant daughter succumbed to S. I. D. S. in the church day care where I was on staff. Trudell and I were dating casually at the time. I ended up at her door unannounced in an emotional mess. I remember her laying my head in her lap and comforting me and praying for me. When I gathered myself, I wondered how I had allowed her to see me in that condition. We grew together from that time up until she went to be with the Lord. She was determined, persistent, principled, and a strong woman of faith. We laughed, cried, argued, and loved one another intensely. Her strong personality and unwavering faith led her to trust God without question. She would always say, “I have favor” and “God is a provider.” She loved our children and protected them like a mother bear protects her cubs. Anything quality they received from me was by osmosis, but Trudell instilled principles of integrity, educational pursuit, perseverance, straight -forwardness, and faith in God.
Trudell operated with excellence in everything she participated. She did not make commitments that she did not intend to keep. She did not bite her tongue concerning her opinions, but she had such finesse that whoever benefitted from her counsel left her presence the better. Trudell was fiercely loyal. She made her family her priority. She told me, “Only my family calls me Trudy.”
She stressed it so much that I called her Trudell. She inaugurated and coordinated a monthly family Zoom meeting during the pandemic. It started with her siblings and their families, but it soon enlarged to include extended family including cousins and anyone in the family who was tech savvy enough to participate.
Trudell was a part of the Pasadena Unified School District for thirty – one years. She started at Washington Middle School. She taught in the Business and Finance Academy at John Muir High School, she then went to Blair High School where served as an instructor, Assistant Principal, and finally she served as principal for six years. Her last years in the district were spent at the district office in various capacities. She mentored many during her professional career, not to mention those she mentored personally.
Trudell’s role as a pastor’s wife was exceptional. Her last role in ministry was as the chairperson of the Deaconess Board. She brought innovative ideas and activities to the ministry. The last outreach she coordinated was called “Period Poverty”. It is an outreach to homeless women to meet their personal hygiene needs. Trudell made herself my personal assistant. She told me, “I want you to look good!” She proofs – read my Bible lessons and anything I sent for public consumption. So, if this is not correct, it is because she did not proof – read it. I joked with her concerning her role at the church. I told her the congregation only puts up with me because they love her so much.
Trudell has left a hole in my heart that only God can fill. I feel lost without her. She administrated our home and our lives. She spoiled me to the point that I must learn to do so much just to maintain some sense of order. I sang her down the church aisle at wedding with a song that I wrote for the occasion. An excerpt from the song says:
Though sometimes we’ll have to cry, even that’s alright. For we know that we must walk by faith and never by sight. Sometimes we’ll both want to give up. We’ll both say I’ve had enough, but in all our ways we will acknowledge God, and He’ll be with us when things get rough. What God has joined together let no one take apart.