Clara May Truitt ‘brought out the best in others’

Clara May Truitt is being remembered as a woman who lived a beautiful life, whose passion was helping others.

The wife of Judge Alfred Truitt, she died at home March 21, but was gracious until her final breath at age 87, said her daughter, Margaret Engler.

“She was a very classy lady. I never heard her speak ill of anyone. She had a really charming way about her. She brought out the best in others,” Engler said.

A woman of strong Catholic faith, she bore five children in seven years and was devoted to raising them, said Engler, who is next to the youngest.

“She was always present, always there. She made sure we had breakfast every morning and the right clothes and that’s hard with five kids,” her daughter said.

She recalled her mother teaching her to be kind and do what’s right.

Judge Danny Long, who called Judge Truitt his mentor, said he  found his wife to be “a very classy lady with a wonderful sense of humor and a great love of life.”

He praised her son, Alfred Truitt III, known as Bruzz, for his  touching eulogy at her funeral March 27, remembering his mother as a dedicated woman who gladly accepted one of life’s greatest challenges, raising and teaching children.

“She had great love and affection for her family,” Long said.

Sister Marilyn from The Joseph House, where Truitt volunteered, called Truitt, “a great, gracious classic and classy lady –intelligent, funny, engaging, sociable.”

“She cared about people. She had a great heart,” she said.

Truitt, a native of Philadelphia who moved to Salisbury when she was a child, graduated from Drexel University. “She was a contemporary of Grace Kelly and one of the Von Trappe children … she  was an early volunteer at Joseph House, where she helped serve meals.

“She supported us through the Mary Martha  Guild. The last time I saw her six months ago was at The Carriage House, the  thrift shop on the campus of St. Francis de Sales. That was one of her key involvements,” she said.

Like Long, Sister Marilyn praised Truitt for outstanding maternal skills, for her “strong, independent family.”

“She lived a beautiful life and it showed. She was a beautifully lady, not just in her appearance, but inside, in her heart,” she said.

A great fan of the Kennedy family, Truitt and her husband were invited to President Kennedy’s inaugural ball.

Clara May Monigle Truitt was a high school home  economics teacher in Baltimore and Wicomico counties and an avid golfer and tennis player who won the Ladies 9 Hole group tournament.

She belonged to the Salisbury Ski Club and the Town and Country Garden Club. One of her favorite hobbies was arranging flowers, her obituary.

She enjoyed needlepointing and volunteered at The Junior Board at Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

She and Judge Truitt were married 64 years and had five children, 18 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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