Obituary of Russell Truelove
Russell Edward Truelove, 93, crossed the final finish line on April 25, 2018.He was born in Waterbury, CT on January 14, 1925 to Russell and Edith (Richardson) Truelove. He attended Crosby High School. He served his country during WWII on the USN Destroyer Isherwood where he participated in the Aleutian Island Campaign.
From his earliest memories Russ was obsessed with cars and racing. He was one of the “Living Legends” who raced on the beach at Daytona during the formative years of NASCAR. His spectacular crash during the 1956 Grand National Race on the beach was documented as Life Magazine’s earliest coverage of a NASCAR event. In the 1990’s he returned to racing in the Spec Race Car category. After retiring from racing he faithfully attended Speed Week at Daytona where he participated in parades and autograph signing sessions. There he was treated like a rock star. The North Turn Restaurant on the beach features the “Russ Truelove Sandwich.” He was able to attend again this year “one last time,” which is what he said every year. He lived to race.
Russ was a salesman who could sell anything. From selling insurance he was able to make an unexpected career move to convince Sikorsky Aircraft that he would be able to sell aircraft parts. He exceeded in this role and from there moved on to Lear, Inc, Plessey Airborne in the UK and many other wide-ranging sales positions that moved him and his family frequently. Mayflower moving boxes were always prominent in any home where his family resided.
World travel was often involved in his work and he and his wife, Joann traveled to Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and Europe. They enjoyed bringing back mementos that represented their travels.
In his last decade Russ needed an outlet for his energy and with his daughter’s encouragement wrote and published a memoir called I’ll Think of Something. Not surprisingly it featured tales of his racing days. He was very proud of his book. Surviving Russ are his daughter, Robin Truelove Stronk and her husband, John of Westmoreland, NH, his grandchildren, Justin Stronk and his wife, Alicia of Lee, NH, Joy Fletcher and her husband, Dave of Westmoreland, NH and Amber Stronk of Newport, RI. He also was delighted when Justin and Alicia provided him with his great granddaughter, Marin Stronk. In addition he leaves his son, Eric Truelove of Madison WI and his family, his sister Shirley Rafford and her husband Charlie and many nieces and nephews that were very attentive to him in his last years. Pat Carpio, his aide, made it possible for him to remain in his home and enjoy a wonderful quality of life for his last year.
Russ was predeceased by his ex-wife, Mildred Liebman Truelove, his wife, JoAnn Longo Truelove , his sisters, Lois Montville and Marilyn Hakli and his grandson John Fletcher Stronk.
A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held Sunday, May 20 at 1:30 at the Prospect Memorial Funeral Home to be followed by full military honors. Burial will be at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in his name to any Veterans Administration cause.