Gertrude Elvera “Trudy” Skrable, 100, a beloved resident of the Trego-Eureka area since 1966, left this world to join her husband Bud on November 15, 2020 from Mountain View Manor nursing home where she had been a resident for almost seven years.
Trudy was born in San Francisco, California, to David and Sif Ratto. Her only sibling, Dave Jr., died in 2014. She grew up in South San Francisco, AKA “South City.” A bright, independent and artistic young woman, she studied art at San Mateo Junior College. There she met Burman “Bud” Skrable in an English class and with him admits she cut her first class. After SMJC she went to work doing fashion sketches for local newspapers; Burman went to Stanford where he starred on their track team. World War II intervened and Burman enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and was sent to Staten Island for med corpsman training. She went by train to join him and they were married in Staten Island on Oct 7, 1941. She returned to live with her parents while her husband served aboard ship and later flew the PB-Y flying boat. Their four boys were born in the San Francisco area.
After Burman received his degree from Stanford, they moved to Bakersfield in 1948 to start a steel scaffolding business. It received a shot in the arm from the nearby Tehachapi earthquake of July 1952. The Skrables raised their boys in Bakersfield for 18 years. Trudy concentrated on being the heart of the family, ensuring that the boys got the habits of regular meals and regular attendance at Mass, received good educations and had regular contact with grandparents (even though they were 300 miles away). It was a very sports-oriented family so she and Bud spent many hours watching games, especially summer baseball. Trudy used her artistic skills to draw fashion design sketches for the newspaper and was famous for her charcoal sketches of children at the annual parish fund-raiser. She found time to play bridge with friends at the Mothers’ Club.
The boys having gone their separate ways, she and Bud started afresh in Trego in 1966. They blended quickly into community life. Trudy became a stalwart of parish life at Our Lady of Mercy, teaching religious education to many of Eureka’s children, treating them to extraordinary hand-drawn visual aids. Although thousands of miles from her children, she remained the center of family life with her periodic newsy letters, phone calls and annual visits to see grandchildren. She and Bud took in both of their mothers in their final years.
Not naturally outgoing, Trudy became a warmer, more welcoming person as she aged. She was a friend to all, an excellent listener and an unfailing source of good advice based on her deep faith and spirituality. She and Bud gave their boys roots and wings, forming them in what is true and good and teaching them that they should expect right and loving behavior of themselves.
She is survived by her four sons and their wives: Burman Jr. (Paula); Donald (Barbara); Russell (Jerrilyn); and Patrick (Karen); eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
Services will be on Monday, November 30, 2020 in Kalispell. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.schnackenbergfh.com.
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