Donald Eric Trodson, husband, father, grandfather, original Providence-based mad man, and proud veteran, died peacefully at home at the age of 82 after a period of declining health. He was at peace, and in comfort at the home he shared with his wife Pat for more than 50 years. He was surrounded by family and friends, many of whom had a chance to chat, say their goodbyes, laugh a little and express their love and affection for this warm and witty man.
Don was born to the late Eric and Eva (Olson) Trodson in Hartford, Conn., on Aug. 29, 1934. He was immensely proud of his Swedish heritage, often reminding his children of the original spelling of their name: Truedsson. He graduated from Hall High School in West Hartford in 1952, and happily married the former Patricia Winn on Dec. 29, 1956. They remained married at the time of Don’s passing.
He joined the United States Marine Corps, which sent him to Hawaii, where Don and Pat’s first son Craig was born in 1957. After his honorable discharge and a move to Rhode Island, Don began a long career in radio and television advertising.
Craig was joined in quick succession by brothers Lars and Bradley, and sister Amy arrived in 1969. Their home in Rumford, R.I., was often filled with friends and neighbors and was the site of countless pickup games of baseball and basketball. Don was never afraid to show affection to those around him, and he received that affection right back.
To say that Don was a sports fanatic would be to understate his devotion. He enjoyed anything from the roller derby to baseball, basketball, hockey and football, and he would bet on pretty much any game. He loved to play poker with friends and strangers alike. He would also be forever indebted to the support network he found when he became a friend of Bill W.’s more than 40 years ago, and he never waivered from his commitment to sobriety.
Don will be greatly, sadly missed by his family and his legion of friends.
Don is survived by his wife of 60 years, Pat; his four children, Craig and his wife Marcia, Lars (Judy), Bradley (Erin) and Amy Ilfeld and husband Michael. He adored his grandchildren, Heather (Dan) Baldassi, Lynne Wood, David Wood, Emily Trodson, Lily Trodson, Abigail and Luke Ilfeld and his great-grandchildren, Hannah, Grace and Jackson Baldassi. He was predeceased by his beloved grandson, Jesse.
His memorial service will be held on Thursday May 4, 2017 at 11:00 AM in Newman Congregational Church, 100 Newman Avenue, Rumford. Burial will be in Rumford Cemetery. Calling hours will be held on Wednesday from 4-7 PM in the PERRY-McSTAY FUNERAL HOME, 2555 Pawtucket Avenue, East Providence. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Hope Hospice, 1085 North Main St., Providence, R.I. 02904, or Newman Congregational Church, 100 Newman Ave., Rumford, RI 02916.