Gertrude Elisabeth Bremer Crites
On April 20th 2020, Trudy's loved ones lost our mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Mother Earth lost an advocate, an artist, a caregiver, and a friend. Trudy was born in German Silesia on April 17th, 1925. Her long and remarkably resilient journey ended in Portland, Oregon. Trudy's optimism and openness to evolving circumstances always paved the way for her journey.
At age 12, Trudy and her family of eight fled Germany, emigrating and assimilating to neutral Turkey. Afforded little opportunity for herself in 1947, Trudy immigrated to America for educational opportunities, Europe and her family being in war-torn disarray.
Trudy worked her way through Kentucky's Berea college, then earned scholarship to a Yale MSN, then Yale Divinity School.
In 1955, she married Stephen D. Crites in Elida, Ohio.
Trudy's remarkable ability to reinvent herself served her well as she and Stephen eventually settled into life in Middletown, Ct. She assumed the mantle of her role as a pastor/professor's spouse. They raised four daughters, Thea, Stephanie, Lilian, and Hannah. The family traveled the world together, having many colorful adventures and misadventures. Trudy pursued her nursing career, but her guiding lights were her beloved family, her Christian faith, and her keen eye for art, creating beauty every day for the rest of her life.
In 1986, newly single and empty-nested, Trudy joined the Peace Corps, teaching nursing skills in Gambia, west Africa.
Her stateside return was no less grueling than the previous transitions had been. Trudy arose like the Phoenix nonetheless, resettling in Brattleboro, Vt. She drew her family about her, she engaged her artistic energies as never before, she became quite an active parishioner, and she volunteered for everything that she could schedule.
Trudy especially reveled in her role as Oma to her now-adult grandchildren, Michael and Timothy Seckla, Adeline and Laura Mitchell, Iris and Rose Flesher, and to Peter Johnson. With great joy she welcomed the next generation, Finnegan, Madison, and Christopher Seckla.
In 2016, Trudy moved to Portland, into the care of Hannah. Trudy's ability to keep moving forward was always sustained by her Christianity, and in her determination to enjoy the beauty of God's creation in any circumstance. Trudy's essence will live on in the twinkle of her love in her family's eyes, in the brightness of each spring's blossoming, in the sweetness of sun-ripened tomatoes, and in the hues of each season's subtle rotation, absent her paintbrushes capturing them for us all.