Trudy Viola Valentine
July 31, 1920 - February 17, 2014
Trudy Valentine was born in Cleveland
Ohio July 31, 1920 to Emil Dietrich Wilken and Alma M Wilken (or Alma
Bormann-Wilken)(maiden name: Höhne), both German immigrants, and was
followed 3 years later by a sister, Woody Wilken (Mildred Wilken).
Trudy grew up in Cleveland attending
elementary, junior high and West Tech High School. After school she
worked some in a restaurant as a waitress and other odd jobs before
ending up at the High speed flight research lab in Cleveland. In 1947
her and two friends from work, went to Edwards Air Force Base (at that
time called Muroc Army Air Field) for the National Advisory Committee
for Aeronautics (NACA).
She worked there from 1947 to 1952
during Chuck Yeager¡¯s attempts to break the sound barrier and further
work on supersonic speeds that led to NASA¡¯s space program. She used
adding machines (which were called computers at that time) plotting
flight paths and sorting through test flight data. Upon arrival her and
her friends lived in tar paper shacks on the main base, but they began
building better housing shortly after her arrival. The men were housed
at North base. It was there she met George Valentine and they married in
May 12, 1951 at the Village Church of Westwood California. After
marriage they lived in a two bedroom place at the Warren Housing area.
In 1952 they moved to Sinton Texas
and lived in a garage apartment while George worked with his father in
the family liquor store but Trudy didn¡¯t like the hot weather and George
wanted to get back into engineering so they moved to the Seattle area in
hopes of getting work at Boeing. Trudy thrived there and they adopted
and raised two children, Linda, born in 1957 and Scott, born in 1960. In
1962 the family moved to Germany where they lived in Pullach i. Isartel
near Munich and stayed there for two years. As a fluent German speaker
Trudy was often called upon by the wives of the group of engineers that
had gone there and also acted at the De Facto interpreter for Boeing and
the engineers. She remained friends with her neighbors from Pullach,
Hilda and Bertl Brandt, to her death and they still remain friends with
During her stay in Germany she led
the family on travels all around Europe including, but not only,
Switzerland, France, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, East Germany, Italy,
Liechtenstein and England. The family were all skiers and many of the
trips were ski trips to the best ski areas in Europe. Many a weekend she
would prepare the family for the upcoming weekend trip and have the kids
and the baggage standing by the front door when George came home from
work so they would hop in the Volkswagen station wagon and go.
Later Trudy divorced and began a
fulfilling career with the City of Orange California and then later with
the King County Prosecuting Attorney¡¯s office in Seattle. She retired
from King County in 1992 and continued to pursue her love of travel.
During the next twenty years she took dozens of trips to hundreds of
cities in countries across the globe. She lived in Ballard for the
remainder of her those years and grew to love the community and friends
she had made in the area.
Trudy is survived by her sister Woody
Lysobey from Westport Connecticut, her daughter, Linda Valentine, son
Scott Valentine, niece, Kim Lysobey, and dear family friends, Andrea
Gleichweith and Sue Daley.
I would like to thank
everyone who came today, and those who couldn¡¯t but are here in spirit,
to celebrate my dear mother¡¯s life.
My mother loved her
scarves. We have placed her collection of scarves on the table as
mementos for whoever would like to take some to remember her by.
There are also some
photos of my mother¡¯s life on the boards
I was lucky to have had
such a wonderful mother. She gave me all the things that make me who I
am today; most of all she gave me happiness. That happiness came in the
form of caring, love, compassion and humor. Although I was adopted, she
gave me all the values and skills I hold dear in my life.
From an early age, she
taught me all she knew, at the age of six, she came home from work, and
to her amazement, found me frying eggs in the kitchen for a schoolmate.
She was astonished, and wondered how I knew how. She had taught me; all
those hours in the kitchen together had certainly rubbed off and that
was just the start. As a child we traveled across Europe together; I
learned to be a world traveler from an early age, and picked up a knack
for languages on the way. We skied together and sewed together – No
doubt I was the only kid in school who already knew how to sew when I
took home economics!
She was always positive
and happy and her smile was infectious. It was hard for other people to
not smile when she was in the room. I don¡¯t recall ever hearing a
negative word coming from her mouth. Even when life was hard, and things
shouldn¡¯t have looked so rosy, she would tell me she was ¡°Hanging in
I loved it when she
called me her Goldenen Sohn, golden son. With each new endeavor I would
call her to tell her what I was doing so I could hear those wonderful
words. ¡°Meine goldenen sohn!¡± Well mom, you were my golden mother, and I
I wish I could be
there, that she has a legacy with two grandchildren and two great
grandchild, one just born on the 13th, which is why I couldn¡¯t be there.
I wanted to share some thoughts about
Trudy since I cannot be there with all of you.
Trudy was my aunt and friend. Often if I
wanted to feel cheered up or was in need of a giggle I called Trudy. I
would ask her how she was doing and she would always answer, "hanging in
there" and then we would both share a laugh.
Trudy would tell me that I could always count
on her for a giggle when I called and she was right. Trudy had a way of
making you feel that everything was alright.
We shared a lot of memories, stories and
laughs. Another of her favorite saying is, "Du bist so komisch" which is
German for , "you are so funny". We had so much fun putting each other
down. You rarely got anything by Trudy.
Trudy was always so grateful for anything that
you did. So often she would take my hand and say, "Kim, thank
you SO MUCH for everything that you've done for me". I know that I'm
not the only one that Trudy said this to.
Andrea and I were talking about how you could
have done the smallest thing for Trudy and she made you feel like you
had just given her the world. That was Trudy. So good hearted and
thinking about others.
One of the things I'll miss about Trudy is her
sense of humor. You would ask Trudy to do something that she didn't
particularly want to do and then you got 'the look' which said, are you
really asking me to do that? Then immediately Trudy would start to
giggle and you'd get to share in the joke.
Trudy loved her family, her sister, Woody, who
she talked to for many, many years every Sunday for at least an hour up
until the last year of so. They had a wonderful relationship as
sisters. They traveled together all over Europe which of course was one
of Trudy's other loves...traveling. I was always impressed how Trudy
could travel to these places all over the world by herself, sometimes
not knowing the language, just winging it.
She loved her immediate family that she always
made feel so important and her Seattle family, Andrea, Susie, Cheryl,
John and the rest of the Daleys. She was always part of all the
holidays with her extended family. She would talk about how lucky she
was to have them.
Trudy was lucky to have such good friends and
family that she loved and that loved her...Carol, Pat and Betty from
Schwabacher House and the friends and staff that were so good to her at Ballard
Manor like Ruth, Sarah, Elizabeth, Michael and many others. I'll
always be grateful for how kind you all were to Trudy.
I'll have a lot of memories of Trudy both in
the times that we spent together in Seattle and Connecticut. The trip
to Vancouver with Andrea, Trudy and mom will always make me smile. We
called ourselves the Musketeers. We always seemed to have an
I was grateful when Trudy came to take care of
me in Denver when I was going through treatment for an illness. I could
always count on Trudy to be there. Always.
To make me smile I think of Trudy and her
sticky notes. For anyone that spent time with Trudy you know what I'm
referring to. It makes me smile now to think of it.
And also her love of animals. Klinker, the
family poodle was special to Trudy. Seeing a puppy or baby animal
seemed to make Trudy's day.
Trudy would talk about how lucky she was to
have her son Scott call her EVERY day to see how she was doing. She
was fortunate to have Scott taking good care of her even if he
would keep reminding her what she needed to do to take care of herself.
She knew Scott was always there for her.
There's an empty place in my heart now with
Trudy gone but I believe that Trudy had a good life not so much because
so much happened to her but because she lived a life of contentment,
thinking good thoughts about life and about her close family and her
good friends. Her thoughts were about others and how they were doing
instead of about herself.
She was to me my little Trudalee. She will
always have a place in my heart and my life forever. You'll always be
with me Trudy.
Thank you for letting me share with
you. We're all so blessed to have had Trudy in our lives.
Trudy Viola Valentine
(maiden name Gertrude ¡°Trudy¡± Viola Wilken), 93, born July 31, 1920 in
Cleveland Ohio, died Monday February 17, 2013 in Seattle Washington.
Trudy was the daughter of Emil D Wilken and Alma M Wilken, German
immigrants, both deceased.
Trudy grew up in Cleveland
Ohio where she attended West Tech High School. From a young age she
loved travelling and left the High Speed Flight Research Lab in
Cleveland for Edwards Air Force Base CA. where she worked for the NACA
(now called NASA) from 1947 to 1952 doing research on the flights that
broke the sound barrier.
There she met George
Valentine and they were married in Los Angeles May 12, 1951 at the
Village Church of Westwood. They lived at Edwards until August of 1952
when they resigned from NACA, and lived briefly in Texas. They then
moved to Bellevue Washington where George worked for Boeing and Trudy
worked as a homemaker and mother to their two children.
In 1964 the family moved to
Pullach i. Isartel near Munich Germany for work with Boeing where they
lived for two years and Trudy acted as the De facto interpreter for the
group of engineers and wives, after which they moved back to Bellevue.
Trudy then had a fulfilling
career first with the City of Orange CA. and following her return to
Seattle, with the King County Prosecuting Attorney¡¯s office until her
retirement in 1992.
After retirement she
continued to pursue her love of world travel that had taken her to
hundreds of cities in countries across the globe.
Trudy is survived by her
sister, Mildred ¡°Woody¡± Lysobey, daughter, Linda Diane Valentine, and
son Scott Randall Valentine.
A memorial service will be
held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, March 16, at Ballard Manor, 1710 N 57th St.
Call 512-508-2057 for