Obituary for Robert J. Trussell
Robert Jesse Trussell, age 89 of Elko New Market died Sunday, April 22, 2018 at his home surrounded by his family. Bob is survived by his children Timothy (Val), Marilee (Jeff) Larson, Bradley (Deanna), and Rob (Judy); 18 grandchildren; 37 great grandchildren; and sister Elva Mae Austin. Bob was preceded in death by his loving wife Constance. A service will be held on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at 11 AM, at Castle Rock United Methodist Church, 27890 Delft Avenue, Castle Rock, MN. There will be a visitation one hour prior. Memorials are preferred to the Alzheimer’s Association or Doctors Without […]
Robert Jesse Trussell, age 89 of Elko New Market died Sunday, April 22, 2018 at his home surrounded by his family.
Bob is survived by his children Timothy (Val), Marilee (Jeff) Larson, Bradley (Deanna), and Rob (Judy); 18 grandchildren; 37 great grandchildren; and sister Elva Mae Austin. Bob was preceded in death by his loving wife Constance.
A service will be held on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at 11 AM, at Castle Rock United Methodist Church, 27890 Delft Avenue, Castle Rock, MN. There will be a visitation one hour prior. Memorials are preferred to the Alzheimer’s Association or Doctors Without Borders.
Robert Jesse Trussell, Sr (Bob) was born on December 10, 1928 in Newton, KS. He was the son of Lloyd Arthur Trussell “Sco” and Mae Crissup Trussell. For the rest of his life he proudly and with tongue in cheek introduced himself as “The famous Bob Trussell from Kansas.” He grew up a full-fledged Kansas Cowboy herding cattle with his horse and riding broncs in rodeos. He enthusiastically helped with milking cows and all the chores and was always proud of the fact that he was running farm machinery by age 6. Sco and Mae instilled lifelong values of honesty, kindness and respect for others deep in to Bob. He also learned as a depression era kid the ethics of hard work and “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” when things get tough.
Bob met Constance Rae Oxford , a North Dakota girl, whose family had moved to Kansas. About a year later they married on July 12, 1947, in a community church in Plainview, Kansas. He was 18. She was 19. Connie would be Bob’s guiding light throughout the rest of his life. He lived for Connie. He was absolutely devoted to her. She was his center and grounding point.
Bob started several businesses as a young man, to include buying the Wonsevu General store and a fence post business. He would later joke of his enterprising ways that he had failed at four businesses by the time he was 21.
Soon after they were married, Bob and Connie drove a Model A to Southern California, after Connie’s sister and husband begged them to do so. Bob worked at the Adohr Dairy, doing fence mending and hauling hay. Bob was inquisitive and full of energy and had become very interested in a new invention, television. He asked a local radio shop owner if he knew where the electronics school was. That man, Harold Duley, said “No, but I can teach you!” That turned out to be a pivotal time in Bob’s life. He learned quickly and three years into it, bought that shop from Harold. Later, Bob added to his business with Bob’s Mobile TV Service, where he repaired televisions in his customer’s homes.
Later, with the help of one of Bob’s Mobile TV Service customers, Bob was hired at Point Mugu Naval Base where he developed fixes for the CP98 computer. He made his presentations to the Navy Department in Washington DC and later received a $900.00 award from the Navy, and as the story goes, the largest award that had ever been given.
All Bob had to do was mention he was considering returning to private sector employment, and a bidding war started over him. Preston Associates of Rosemount, Pennsylvania won the bid, and Bob moved his family to Pennsylvania in 1966. They were developing radar data processing computer systems. He spent some of the time developing and installing a highly classified communication system in Nantucket, Newfoundland. They also developed a low frequency side looking radar (a forerunner to today’s MRI). This system could see a periscope at 100 miles distance at sea as they flew above at 20,000 feet.
Lonesome for California, Bob and family decided to move back to California where Bob worked independently on developing a Reader for the blind. Almost completed, Bob tried to get a grant to complete it, to no avail. As their saving account dwindled toward a previously decided amount they would not let it get below, Bob called a Pennsylvania cohort. He was immediately re-hired by Preston Associates and moved the family back east and worked on weather radar data processing systems.
In 1971 Control Data Corporation (Headquartered in Bloomington, MN) bought Preston Associates, and so he and Connie moved their family to Minnesota.
Bob was ready for some diversion, so he and Connie decided to buy a farm near New Market and to venture into the hog business. Bob also continued to work at CDC until his retirement in 1988. They decided to develop the farmland, selling off 10 acre parcels and built a house for themselves, on one of the lots in 1987. This was a familiar task for Bob as he built many of the 18 homes they lived in.
In Bob’s retirement years, he and Connie helped develop the NOMADS (volunteer disaster relief) and served for about 12 years on at least 3 projects a year. Bob’s ability to build and or fix anything and their desire to help others made this a perfect fit for them.
Bob spent about a decade painting in oil, creating paintings from pictures mostly. He painted farm scenes, portraits and several paintings of Connie, of course. Bob wrote poetry and several songs.
Music was an integral part of Bob’s life. Bob taught basic guitar to his children and a multitude of other people, of all ages. If you were a student of Bob’s, you knew how to play Crawdad Hole. Bob, proud of his correspondence with Pete Seeger, has a framed letter from Pete on his living room wall.
Bob was known for his humor and storytelling, hard-working grit, sweetness, toughness, and unintentional charm.
Shortly after Connie’s death Bob made a music CD (Produced by son Rob) of old songs -many of which he had learned from hearing his father sing them.
In 1988 Bob wrote his Memoires, which was a useful tool when his memory started failing him, due to Alzheimer’s Disease, diagnosed in 2015. Bob also was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and that was what ultimately took his life at the age of 89.