My wife’s grandfather passed away last week. The funeral is tomorrow and we’re heading back to Green Bay for it. We were just there for Thanksgiving and planned to go see him for lunch on the day he died.
It always strikes me that I don’t have much experience dealing with death. I haven’t lost many people close to me, and I haven’t been to many funerals.
I’m reminded of some thoughts on grief from Melanie Walby at a recent event I attended:
Not everything happens for a reason. Some things just suck.
Life will still be good, it will just be different.
As I said, I don’t have much experience, but grandparent funerals always feel a little different. It seems there’s less shock and grief, though the pain and loss is certainly still there.
I didn’t know Murray that well. He always seemed intimidating and gruff. A little like my own grandfather.
I think my wife summed him up best—and it seems like these kind of remembrances are what I cherish most.
Here’s what Abby wrote about her grandfather:
This is my grandpa Murray. He had 8 kids, 20 grandkids, 23 great grandkids (there might be more, I’ve lost count) and 2 great-great grandkids. He was 94 years old. Served in WWII. Swore a lot. Teased everyone. (When Lexi was little she referred to him as “the mean great-papa” He’s holding Lexi in this picture – you can see how “mean” he really was). He was always good for a story and loved to argue with people. Like, LOVED to argue. And he liked to get his way. He passed away today. We all knew it was coming and he died exactly how he would have wanted it. He still had his ability to argue. I wasn’t there but I’m pretty sure he told a nurse to help him get his damn pants on. He ate breakfast and chatted with people. The nursing staff found him in his room. He didn’t have to die in a hospital bed or loose his ability to have a conversation. Even at the very last, he got his way.
Here’s the official obituary:
Murray A. Trudell, 94, passed away Friday, November 29, 2019. He was born on August 10, 1925 to Herbert and Mary (Tatum) Trudell.
Murray attended Green Bay West High School and later graduated from Oakland Tech. High School in Oakland, CA, Class of 1944. After high school, he joined the U.S. Army and served in Europe. On May 17, 1947, Murray married Esther Garvey at St. Willebrord Catholic Church. He worked for Many years at Woody Jepsen Auto Dealer as a finance manager.
Murray loved spending time with his family and friends. People were his favorite hobby.
Survivors include his eight children and their spouses: Linda Murphy, Jennifer and Scott Erlandson, Bob and LoAnn Trudell, Jeff and Trude Trudell, Sally Drinkwine, Jim (Esmee) Trudell, Andrew and Jean Trudell, Molly Talano (Ryan Dorak); 21 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren; his sister, Jewel Beilke, De Pere; two sisters-in-law, Mildred “Mickey” Trudell and Valerie Thomas; nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Esther; his parents; a son-in-law, Thomas Murphy; and three brothers, Curtis, Wesley, and Riley Trudell.
Visitation will be held at Blaney Funeral Home, 1521 Shawano Ave., from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, December 6; followed by the Memorial Service at 11 a.m. Entombment will be in the Allouez Chapel Mausoleum. To send online condolences, please go to www.BlaneyFuneralHome.com.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Murray’s name.
A special thank you is extended to the staff of Odd Fellow Nursing Home.