Stephen Allard Trudel, age 69, passed away peacefully on August 6, 2019.
He was born on May 1, 1950 in North Adams. He grew up in Williamstown, MA and Glens Falls, NY and attended Glens Falls High School, Williston Academy and the University of Massachusetts.
Steve was beloved by so many people because he was a man of enormous compassion, kindness, humor and wisdom. Everyone with whom he was a friend felt his caring and his love energy. Early in his career he shared his love with young children as a day care provider.
Steve was among the first men to recognize working with men acting abusively was essential to curb domestic violence. In the early 1980s he went to San Francisco to learn how the Men Overcoming Violence (MOVE) program ran its batterer intervention groups. He brought back a vision of believing men could change. In addition to conducting the initial interviews with many of the men entering the program, Steve worked in virtually every court hearing domestic abuse cases in western Mass., and was the first point of contact for men mandated to attend a 40- week batterer intervention group. Steve led groups continuously for nearly 30 years. It is estimated he worked with more than a thousand men and held nearly every position in the Men’s Resource Center’s batterer’s program, Moving Forward.
Near the end of his career, Steve served as the liaison for the female partners or ex-partners of men in the program, a position heretofore exclusively held by a woman. That these women had no issue with a man being their contact speaks volumes about Steve’s capacity to gain these women’s trust. He set the standard for men as allies to women survivors.
When there was something that Steve cared about he invested himself fully in its cultivation. This was literally true about one of his most fervent passions – his extraordinarily diverse and exquisite garden in which Steve spent so many hours and delighted in giving tours to friends.
He became a plant expert through his endless pursuit of making the garden ever more inviting. The same passion was evident in his eclectic love for music, which flowed dependably throughout his home. He especially loved to sing and was part of not one but two a cappella groups where his beautiful voice and enormous repertoire of songs were most appreciated.
Cooking was another endeavor that absorbed and gratified Steve. Many of his signature dishes enriched holiday dinners at the homes of his chosen families. His scones were the stuff of legends and he could be counted on to bring a memorable dish to any potluck.
Steve recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of his graduation from Williston where he sang in the Caterwaulers, performed in plays and ran cross country. He was on the reunion committee and was very pleased to see friends from his class for whom he was both an inspiration and a driving force through the years. Steve loved looking good and he had an impeccable eye for clothing. Men and women consulted him about their outfits, because his taste was so dependably on the money. His style was uniquely his own and fit every occasion. Folks looked forward to how Steve would dress at many events.
But notwithstanding all of these loves, Steve reserved the greatest part of his enormous heart for his friendships, which were the centerpiece of his life. He nurtured each one with the same tenderness, devotion and integrity with which he bestowed his caring upon every plant in his garden. Not only did he forge deep and abiding connections to so many women and men, but he invariably reached out to the children of his friends and they became his friends as well. The outpouring of love, of the litany of ways in which Steve touched so many of his chosen families is remarkable on so many levels. The outpouring of loving emails he received while in the hospital are yet one more testimony to the essential role he played in his many friendships.
One of the most consistent and outstanding relationships Steve helped to sustain is his men’s group, which will celebrate its 41 st year offering support to one another this fall. Steve was a major driving force in having the group be so significant and long-lasting. His contributions to our celebrative monthly dinners, his belief in honesty and the trust he gave and received were hallmarks of the group throughout its tenure.
Steve will be missed beyond the power of words to express by his family of origin and all of his chosen families. His gifts of unwavering caring, concern and devotion will long be remembered by generations of people whose lives he touched and for whom he had an indelible impact. He leaves behind his siblings, Lyn Trudel of Palm Coast, Florida, Sam Trudel and his partner Liz Winn of Middlebury, Vermont, Susan Marton of Martinsville, New Jersey and David Trudel of Glens Falls, NY. He also is survived by his cousin, Rachel Branch, of N. Adams, MA. He was beloved by his nieces and nephews including, Jason, Joseph and Alexis Cenami, Alyssa and Ryan Trudel, Jeremy, Emily, Samuel and Philip Marton, and Timothy Trudel and Larra Wallace. In addition there are a great many friends who will miss him forever.
There will be a CELEBRATION OF LIFE on Saturday, September 21 st .