Edward W. Truslow
96th President of the Virginia SAR
July 12, 1940 - June 1, 2017
Memorial to Edward W. Truslow
96th President of the Virginia SAR
Bruton Parish Church, Williamsburg, Virginia
June 17, 2017
I think I can safely speak for all of us when I say that every single one of us would rather be
somewhere else today.
We would rather be sitting down to lunch with Ed and Laura.
Or singing with Ed in a choir.
Or attending a Sons of the American Revolution event with Ed.
Personally, I would rather be meeting up with Ed in the bar at the Southampton Princess in Bermuda.
Each of you has something else you'd rather be doing with Ed and Laura right now.
But instead we are here, against our will, to say goodbye, and to honor an extraordinary man.
Quite simply, Edward Truslow was one of the finest men that I have known. Always kind,
gracious and thoughtful, he was a Virginia gentleman through and through. He was a much beloved father, grandfather and husband. To most of us in this place he was a dear, dear friend. His departure to join the communion of saints in heaven leaves a void in our lives.
Since this past February, I've had the challenge of succeeding Ed as the president of the Virginia Sons of the American Revolution, one of many organizations, including this parish, in which Ed was involved and to which he was deeply committed. This is my last assignment from Ed (he was always good about giving me the easy jobs). For four years it was my privilege to work alongside Ed to advance the patriotic and educational goals of the SAR. I have no doubt that he has left a legacy in every place he served, including this parish. But I can only speak to the legacy he leaves to the SAR.
First and foremost, he established a partnership with the American Revolution Museum at
Yorktown that will bear fruit for years to come. I can recall with clarity the day we first discussed his idea. There was a twinkle in his eye and excitement in his voice – and when I said "yes, I think we can raise that much," he smiled that smile.
Ed also led the Virginia SAR's effort to bring our national Congress to Virginia in 2020. In just over three years we hope about 1000 people will descend on Richmond for a week and tour some of Virginia's most historic sites before, during and after the meeting. The event will show Ed’s beloved Virginia at its best, and generate revenue and goodwill for the Commonwealth. It's success will be due in no small part to Ed's efforts.
But perhaps his greatest legacy is a more personal one. No doubt, each of you have multiple stories of how Ed touched your lives. For me, it is how he was always attentive to my wife in – only the most appropriate ways, Laura – and kind to my children. They all regularly attend SAR events, but they don't expect to be the center of attention. Let me just give you one example how he made them feel welcome and a part of it.
Last year, my son, Will, who was nine years old at the time, begrudgingly prepared to accompany me to the state semi-annual meeting here in Williamsburg. Suffice it to say, he was not looking forward to it. But he ended up having a great time.
Why? Because of Ed. Ed knew William would be bored with nothing to do, so he appointed Will to be the Virginia SAR's official time keeper. He even gave him one of those old hotel desk bells to ring whenever someone spoke beyond their allotted time. And Will loved it. Fortunately, several of our more verbose colleagues obliged Will and went over their time. And Will rang the bell with gusto – to the laughter and cheers of the men in the room.
Ed saw a way to make a difference in someone's life. He thought about it, and he found a way to make a nine-year-old the center of attention for a little while. And now a young man looks forward to going to those meetings.
Ed did this kind of thing all the time. For this and so many other small acts of kindness over the years, both of my children love Ed and Laura dearly, and they, like all of us, will miss him greatly.
All of you have stories like that about Ed. I urge you to share them today and in the future.
Because they are Ed’s greatest legacy. He showed us how to act thoughtfully, to care for each other, and to leave each person we meet a little happier, a little better off, for having known us.
Ed touched each of our lives, and we are each better off for having known him. If we can all just be a little more like Ed, our world will be a better place.
Laura, I pray that you and your family find comfort, as we all do, in our many memories of happy times with Ed.
He was, quite simply, one of the finest men I have ever known.
Michael J. Elston
Virginia Sons of the American Revolution