Campus / Community / News / November 14, 2014

Last living Lombard College alumnus dies at age 104

Ray Albert Truedson L’32 never slowed down. In his 70s, he was still reproofing his house, and he painted his home into his 80s. At age 90, he ran his first 5k. When he broke his hip at age 96, he was walking a mile again only six months later. And at the age of 104, he was the last living alumnus of Lombard College.
Mr. Truedson L’32 died last Monday, President Teresa Amott announced in an email this weekend.
Mr. Truedson was born on February 15th, 1910 on both Knox and Lombard’s Founders Day. He attended the college for three terms until he left to support his family after his father’s death. He then served as a cryptographer in the Pacific during World War II, and later worked in the travel department for American Express, where he met his wife Lela, who was a nurse.
Mr. Truedson was a tour manager, and was managing a tour to Hawaii when he proposed to Lela on the phone. She bought a one way ticket to Hawaii with all of her savings and joined the tour. They honeymooned in Hawaii.
After he retired in 1975, he remained active in the Knox alumni network in Chicago. Though he had gone to Lombard, Knox took on Lombard students and honored Lombard alumni after Lombard merged with Knox following the commencement of the Class of 1930.
Lombard was initially established in 1853 by the Universalist Church and was notable for its acceptance of women on an equal basis to men. It also graduated several notable alumni like Carl Sandburg, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Several of its traditions remain on Knox’s classes, including a bell, which was gifted to Knox in 1935 and is housed in Alumni Hall.


Tags:  great depression Knox College knox history Lombard College ray truedson universalist church

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Kate Mishkin
Kate Mishkin is a junior majoring in English literature and minoring in journalism. This is her first year as managing editor, after having served as co-news editor and co-mosaic editor. Kate is the recipient of two awards from the Illinois College Press Association for news and feature stories and one award from the Associated Collegiate Press. In 2014 she won the Theodore Hazen Kimble Prize and Ida M. Tarbell Prize in Investigate Journalism. During the summer of 2014, she will be interning at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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