Kenneth Richard Trusler
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CHILLICOTHE: Kenneth Richard Trusler, 88, entered into life eternal the evening of June 10, 2013. Kenneth was born on August 18, 1924, to French Osbert and Esther Byrne Trusler in Columbus, Ohio. He attended school in Columbus, Ohio, graduated from Chillicothe High School, completed Aircraft and Engine Licensing in Globe, Arizona, and then attended Ohio University, Chillicothe. On February 15, 1947 he married Sharma W. Stevenson Trusler who predeceased Kenneth on May 11, 2013. They enjoyed 66 years of marriage.
Kenneth and Sharma were both members of The Greatest Generation. Kenneth received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters for his World War II service before his honorable discharge in 1945. Serving as Flight Engineer, he flew with the crew of "The Flak Magnet," a B-24 with the 68th Squadron Bomb Group, assigned to Shipdham Airfield, England. Each of his 34 missions he documented in a small spiral notebook. On June 6, 1944, Kenneth and the crew flew two missions in support of the D-Day invasions. The second bombing run was on Omaha Beach just two minutes before the full Allied force attacked. In March of 2008, Kenneth enjoyed the occasion to once again climb aboard an actual World War II B-24 plane on working display at Love Field Dallas, Texas, and give his grandsons and son-in-law a guided tour. The following day while still in Dallas, he attended the memorial service of a fellow crew member and friend making Kenneth the very last surviving member of this great crew of ten. In 2010, he was invited to fly to Washington D.C on an Honor Flight to spend the day visiting the war memorial with fellow WWII veterans.
Kenneth was employed by and later co-owned the former Placier's Paint Store in Chillicothe. He and Sharma, later owned and operated a Dairy Queen in Delaware, Ohio, just prior to their retirement. Kenneth was active in the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce and the Chillicothe Jaycees. During his busy retirement years, Kenneth enjoyed devoting his time to his grandsons and their endeavors, gardening, woodworking, clock restoration, and home projects. He was a dedicated member of Trinity United Methodist Church and served on the Board of Trustees in various capacities. He volunteered at the Veterans' Hospital where he especially enjoyed spending working hours in the greenhouse. Together, he and Sharma were active in Relay for Life fundraisers and were once volunteers at Good Samaritan Network.
Diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2004 at the age of 80, Kenneth was proud to be a cancer survivor following major surgery and intense cancer therapy treatments. He was an inspiration to his family, friends and doctors as well. Kenneth and his family were profoundly grateful for the expert loving care he and Sharma both received at Adena Hospital while patients of Dr. Mong, Dr. Roach, and Dr. Beam.
Survivors include daughter, Judith Ann Trusler and special friend Wilbur Poole, Chillicothe; son, Michael Alan Trusler, Webster, Texas; and daughter, Betsy L. Trusler Grimes (Doug), Plano, Texas, and grandsons, John B. Grimes (Erin), Plano, Texas, and Wm. Bradley Grimes (Rachel), Frisco, Texas. Also surviving are great-grandsons William Joseph Grimes, Sawyer Chance Grimes, and Weston Bradley Grimes Frisco, Texas, and several nieces and nephews.
Kenneth was predeceased by his parents, his brother, Robert, a World War II MIA and Purple Heart Recipient, his brother Jack Edward Trusler and wife, Martha and a niece, Karen (Susie) Trusler.
In keeping with Kenneth's wishes, there will be a public graveside service at Grandview Cemetery on Saturday, June 15, at 3:00 p.m. with Pastor Kurt King officiating. Arrangements are under the direction of WARE FUNERAL HOME. Calling hours will not be observed.
In lieu of flowers, Kenneth would be honored to have contributions in his name be sent to the Memorial Fund at Trinity United Methodist Church, 24 South Mulberry Street, Chillicothe, Ohio, 45601.
He will cover you with his feathers and under His wings you will find refuge. Psalms 91:4
You may sign his online register at www.warefh.com
Published in the Chillicothe Gazette on June 13, 2013