Obituary: Robert Trudeau, 85, Wakefield Resident and Teacher in Melrose for Three Decades
Family members said Robert Trudeau was a dedicated father, an engaged citizen, a big sports fan, and loved restaurants.
If there was one thing Robert C. Trudeau of Wakefield loved most, it was his family – his wife Ann, his sons Paul and Craig, his daughter Michele, and their spouses and children.
“His home, his wife, and his kids, that’s what he wanted around him,” said his son, Paul Trudeau of Wakefield. “And his three grandchildren, Tess, Isabella, Will. When they would walk in he would light up - that was his center.”
Robert C. Trudeau, a family man who was married to his wife Ann for 59 years, taught in Melrose for 38, and lived in Wakefield for 25 years, passed away on May 10 due to a heart problem. He was 85.
From Revere to Boston to Wakefield
Born on March 3, 1927 in Winthrop, MA, Mr. Trudeau went to Revere High School, then Boston University, where he earned a degree in journalism. His first job out of college was working for the BU Publicity Bureau, before he was drafted and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, though he was not sent overseas.
After his return, Mr. Trudeau decided against pursuing journalism, which would have required a move to New York City, so he returned to Boston University to obtain his Master’s Degree in Education.
Mr. Trudeau began teaching in the Melrose Public Schools, where he taught English and French and worked at both the Elementary and Middle School levels. He worked in the Melrose School system for 38 years, retiring in 1992.
“You couldn’t take him anywhere without a student coming up to him, it was unbelievable,” Paul Trudeau said.
One reason he was always recognized was Mr. Trudeu’s jet black hair – even at age 85, which became a running joke in the family.
“Even at 85 he still looked like himself," said Paul Trudeau. If anyone said, ‘Did you dye it?’ he’d say indignantly, ‘Of course I don’t dye it!’
Love of His Life
His wife, Ann, said the couple shared 59 happy years of marriage together.
“He always made me feel very special,” she said.
The two met through friends and family back in 1952, when his aunt came over to Anne’s house and mentioned he was interested in her. At first, she said she was wary.
“I said, ‘Isn’t he kind of old?’” she said, with a laugh. “He was five years older than me and I was 19. But we started out together and from then on we just fell in love.”
Varied Interests, from Politics to Food
His son said that Mr. Trudeau was interested in everything, whether it was his family, his family’s friends, supporting Boston sports teams, debating politics, or dining out at restaurants.
“He loved going to new restaurants,” said Paul Trudeau. “He and my mom loved watching the Food Network together. He’d see things on there and say, 'Let’s have that next time we go out.'"
A longtime member of Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Wakefield, Mr. Trudeau attended Mass every Sunday.
He was also a passionate liberal, a "Democrat through and through," said his son.
“He loved Obama,” he said. “He would always welcome a friendly debate, especially with people who didn’t agree with him. But he would never compromise his beliefs just to please someone, so he never walked away from a good argument, but many an adversary would be shaking his head saying, why would I dare approach him in the first place?”
Mr. Trudeau was the type of person who would put everyone else first, said he son, adding that his father worked a few secondary jobs to keep everything together, including managing the Breakheart Reservation, and often took him wherever he needed to go, including down to Newbury Street, where he would wait while Paul shopped until he was ready to go home.
“He’d pick you up wherever you were," said Paul Trudeau. "He would drive to the Oak Grove five times a day to get you, and he didn’t care.”
A natural people person, his family said Mr. Trudeau was truly charismatic, mingling with others and drawing them into conversation.
“He cared so much about other people,” said Paul Trudeau. “He was one of the best. They just don’t make them like that anymore.”
Besides his wife Ann and son Paul, Mr. Trudeau is survived by Paul’s partner George Pessotti, his daughter Michele Y. Silva and her husband Mark of Nashua, NH, his late son Craig Trudeau, his daughter in-aw Paula (Lazzaro) Trudeau of Wakefield and his grandchildren Tess, Isabella and Will.
Mr. Trudeau’s funeral was held on May 14 at the McDonald Funeral Home in Wakefield, a funeral Mass was said in Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Wakefield, and he was buried in the Forest Glade Cemetery in Wakefield.