She didn’t let on until I was nearly out the door.
“My name isn’t Trudy, you know,” she confided with a bit of a grin on her face. Then she spelled out her “real” name for me — Edeltraud. This peppy little lady who serves as director/coordinator for the Wellington Senior Resource Center is known to her wide circle of friends as simply “Trudy.”
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She’s the one you call to make reservations for lunch at the center, inquire about upcoming outings, learn the date of the upcoming fundraising bazaar or pancake breakfast, or just to chat with a friend.
Trudy, who will be 80 in a year, grew up in Augsburg, southern Germany, and came to this country at age 24. For 30-plus years, she was a banker in Spokane, Wash., working with bankruptcies, delinquencies and her favorite area — student loans. Stan, her husband of 54 years, spent a good bit of his career in the Marine Corps. They moved to Wellington more than 10 years ago to be close to their son, BJ, and his wife, Karen. They came to help care for Karen, who has since died.
“I knew when I retired that I wanted to do something with older people,” Trudy said. She’d belonged to a grandma’s club in Spokane and looked for a similar opportunity when she came to Wellington. She walked into the Senior Resource Center one September morning 10 years ago and has never left.
She’s in the office three days a week and often involved with Senior Resource Center activities on other days, as well. “Stan is my housekeeper,” she said. “Why not? He’s home more than I am.”
She added, “No, he has not taken up cooking.”
Trudy admits to having a hard time sitting still. She may rest for a few minutes after she’s home from work, but very soon she’s busy knitting or crocheting — “My passions.”
She’s currently heading up a project to make afghans for veterans. “There are 40 of them living in Parkwood Estates in Fort Collins. As soon as we’ve made enough afghans, we’re going to deliver them,” she said.
Trudy has not let two hip and two knee replacements — all on her right side — stop her from doing much. She doesn’t swing a golf club any more, but she walks regularly. As a seven-year survivor, she is a behind-the-scenes volunteer for the upcoming Cancer Relay. She serves on the Wellington CAC board and pays regular visits to a friend in a nursing home on Terry Lake.
She’s proud of the nine new members who have joined the Senior Resource Center in the last four months, bringing the total membership to 48.
“One woman told me it was the best thing she’d ever done for herself. We don’t care what you wear. You can come in your pajamas if you like,” Trudy said. “And you can talk about anything, and we’ll listen.”
Dues are $15 a year.
Lunch is served three times a week at the Senior Resource Center. Afterwards, they play bingo or cards. Once a week, participants are treated to live music. In the summer, there are trips to mountains and picnics in the park. “This place is my haven,” Trudy said. “It’s wonderful to see it grow and prosper.”
Anyone interested in the Senior Resource Center can call 970-817-2293 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask for Trudy. The voice on the other end of the line might not answer to Edeltraud right away. It’s been a long time since she’s been called by her real name!