Trudy Lynn Murrell was born on February 5, 1950, in Memphis TN, to the late Onzo M. Winfrey and Jacqueline M. Hirsch. The oldest of two children, Trudy confessed faith in Jesus Christ as a child at Greater Middle Baptist Church in Memphis. She was baptized by the late Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks, who was pastor at that time. After moving to Chicago, Trudy became a member of Trinity United Church of Christ.
She graduated from Hamilton High School in 1968, and continued her education at Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN. There, she met, fell in love, and later, married Claude Murrell. It was a story she told over and over again. It was during the 1971 Kappa Alpha Psi Probate Show where their story began. At the end of the performance, each line member went into the audience to pick a girl and kiss her. Claude came down, grabbed Trudy, and planted a big one on her. The rest is Murrell Family history.
To this union, one son, Claude, Jr., was born. He was a delightful mix of both his mother and father. Trudy affectionately called her baby, “Lil’ Claude,” and doted on him with all she had. Trudy would often relate stories about what Lil’ Claude was doing, or something Big Claude said. She was an attentive mother, a thoughtful wife, and a faithful friend, as evidenced by the outpouring of love to this family since her passing.
For so many years, Trudy proved her bouts with cancer were no match for her indomitable spirit. She fought and came back…and fought and came back. She was a living testament to the healing power of God, and the strength and courage in the human spirit when challenged by adversity. More than a quarter of a century, Trudy waged a valiant fight, and left us a model of what grace and love, even in sickness, really looks like.
Many would know Trudy from Chi-town’s vibrant club scene. She promoted and encouraged singers and musicians, helping them carve out a place in the live entertainment industry. It seemed that wherever Trudy was, a party ensued. Not only did she love a great party, but she took far more pleasure in seeing others having a good time as well. Trudy loved stepping even though her partner tried keeping up. She nonetheless remained patient with him. Her choice of professions is no mystery…God has always needed good people, Godly individuals, in the music and entertainment industries.
Trudy travelled extensively during her lifetime, promoting group events on cruises and far-away adventures and escapades. Anyone would know that she was masterful in these pursuits—a pied piper of fun. For three decades, she excelled in that which she loved.
Yes, cherish the memories of the music, the stepping, the fun, and the entertainers she loved so well. But remember, more than these, the kindness and the gentle spirit which characterized her interaction with people. Remember all the beautiful messages of encouragement posted on her Facebook. One favorite was, “If no one has told you today that they love you, I love you.” Even in sickness, she declared the goodness of the Lord. And when she was in good health, Trudy understood where her help came from.
Trudy was preceded in death by her mother, Jacqueline M. Hirsch and father, Onzo Winfrey. Left to mourn her passing are: husband, Claude, Sr.; son, Claude, Jr, (Nara); one brother, Spencer Smith, (Linda); mother-in-law, Barbara Murrell (whom Trudy dearly cherished); three nieces: Tyra Taylor, (Arthur), Shaunna Cooper, (Taurus) and Shayla Smith; great nieces, Jasmine and Karsyn; nephew, Trey; god-daughter, Michaela; her beloved dog, Bella, a host of extended family members and close friends.