REMEMBRANCES - presented at the pohar on the day of Trude Check-Tuhyís funeral by her brother, Thomas, Thursday, December 14, 2006.

Trudy was the youngest of four children in our family. Our home was a home of song. Our mother often sang spontaneously during the day and some of it must have rubbed off on Trude, because, at age 2, she sang a Slovak folk song to a parish community group.

From this early seed, the gift of her voice and music was scrubbed and polished by formal training. She majored in music at Misericordia College, then continued her education thereafter until she was well versed in classical music, opera, choral work and proficient to sing in seven languages.

This was her way to honor her culture, religious background and her community.  She taught music in Wyoming Valley West schools, took part in community musical productions, conducted choirs and chorales to honor and glorify God as she did partake in the life of her community.

She was talented, gifted, creative, inquisitive and detail oriented. She had an innate sense of knowing when something was right and correct, and when it wasnít, she suffered until it was made right and correct. She was direct and occasionally out spoken.

She was not willful or mean-spirited. When her creative nature felt something was not right.....she made no bones about trying to make it right.

She cultivated and developed relationships. Her talent opened many doors for her and she was not afraid to take chances by reaching out with love, commitment and genuine participation and involvement.

Her generosity reached out to individuals, organizations, and to the Lord. She believed in tithing. There is a story we tell in our family about her generosity.

We were having a family gathering at our cabin in the Poconos and our two grandchildren, Tommy, age 8 and Adam, age 10, were looking out the front window in anticipation of who was coming. Suddenly, one shouted to the other, "Look, thereís Aunt Trude... weíre gonna get money!"

She reached out to many with her multi-gifted personality, enriching the liturgy of her own faith by the choral work of appropriate hymns and bringing a heightened glory to God by that participation. Her spirituality of reading scripture brought her even closer to the Lord.

With this same zeal and commitment, she shared her gift with a number of church choirs in Wyoming Valley, not of her denomination.

Also, what gave her much satisfaction was her participation with her husband Philip in the Jewish choir of the Bínai Bírith synagogue. She shared with us how she particularly loved the services on Yom Kippur where we asked forgiveness of our fellow man for any transgressions before we ask for Godís forgiveness.

Early in her career she spent a summer in missionary work in Jamaica teaching orphaned girls music. At the end of her mission, the choral group she taught and trained was able to give a public concert of Jamaican songs.

Through her many gifts, she was truly a modern day disciple of Ecumenism, reaching out to bring a cooperative spirit of love to others. She lived it. She practiced it.

When Trude walked into a room, she had a presence....a spark....that livened things up....she made things happen.

What perhaps gave her the most satisfaction was her work with the Slovak Heritage Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania. By her participation over the years she was able to form a chorus that was proficient enough to record a number of CDís and tapes of folk, cultural and religious music. These continue to endure as a visible sign of how this gift and talent reached out to be a source of enrichment to many. She also made time to promote the publishing of a book entitled "
Slovak Folk Customs and Traditions.       

Trude left us a legacy by simply living who she was as a person, including her imperfections, by sharing generously her gifts and respect of where we came from, each one of us can find in our lives expressions to live fruitfully in our community and to honor and glorify God in our lives.

She has enriched our lives....because for a period of time....she was in it with us.

In finality, I would like to share a verse from one of Trudeís favorite hymns that has a poetic eternal essence.
Jesu idem k Tebe dnieska  Jesus Iím going to you today
Lebo vola tva laska Your love has called me to you today
Jezu idem k Tebe  Jesus Iím going to you
Jezu idem prave jak som   Jesus Iím going just as I am
Prave jak som idem k Tebe   Just as I am Iím going to you
Jezu idem k Tebe   Jesus Iím going to you