On July 29, 2015, a beloved Shore family suffered the unfathomable loss
of father and daughter, Joe and Anna Trustey. Tragically, they died in a plane crash near Milwaukee while making a college visit for Anna, a rising senior at the Brooks School and eighth grade Shore graduate of the Class of 2013. Joe had recently completed three distinguished years of service as President of the Board of Trustees.
Reeling from the loss, hundreds of Shore students, alums, current and past parents, staff and faculty, and close family friends gathered for a moving candlelight vigil
at Shore just twenty-four hours after the crash. “The tragic accident that took the lives of Joe and Anna is a shocking and profound loss for our school and the region,” shared Head of School, Larry Griffin. In an emotional tribute, he spoke reflectively about his partnership with Joe as President of the Board. “In my lifetime, I have met just a few truly visionary leaders with the confidence, the charisma, and the bravado to literally turn the tide of a group and raise expectations. This is Joe Trustey. We are a far better school today than we were just a few years ago, and much of the credit for this vision and accomplishment is due to the sacrifice and efforts of Joe Trustey.”
Griffin spoke of Anna with the same admiration for her sterling character and charisma. “Anna Trustey’s devotion, focus, and desire for learning were second to none. Each stage of the journey became important: practicing, questioning, and responding to guidance. If Anna was a model student in the classroom, she was an exemplar on the playing field. She did not just know her role; she knew how it connected to others and how it created greater success for all. Energized and upbeat, Anna’s personality attracted strong friendships. Anna’s grounded and positive outlook propelled her forward as a community force for good. Artist, actor, dancer, athlete, and peer elected senator, Anna’s pursuits were deep and purposeful. Her leadership and influence continued to grow at the Brooks School where she was selected as the varsity soccer and lacrosse teams’ captain for her senior year and as a prefect, one of the school’s most prestigious honors.”
We were honored on Tuesday, August 4, to host the visitation for Joe and Anna, as over 2,000 guests paid their respects during the afternoon and evening. The gathering culminated with a beautiful prayer service and the sharing of tributes by family and close friends. Friends, business associates, classmates, teammates, colleagues, coaches, and acquaintances from across the region and across the country universally described the father and daughter in nearly identical terms: selfless, generous, compassionate, full of life and love and humor.
Sadly, many of the same visitors had come together to mourn almost a year earlier when the Trusteys’ only son, Andrew “A.J.” Trustey, died in the fall of 2014. At his services, Joe shared that he knew one of the major purposes in his own life would be to support the A.J. Trustey Epilepsy Research Endowment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, to discover a cure for those who suffered as did his son, A.J.
Kris, Caroline, and Claire, joined by extended family, received each and every one of the thousands of mourners who filled the Dining Hall, the entire first floor of the Science Center, Upper School hallways, and the sidewalk all the way to the front of the Winslow Building. Countless close friends supported the Trusteys throughout the afternoon and evening.
Reverend Timothy Scully, CSC, from the University of Notre Dame, led the prayer service followed by the tributes shared with the overflow crowd filling the Dining Hall, while hundreds of others spilled out onto the Inspiration Garden patio to listen by remote loudspeaker.
A mass of Resurrection, celebrated by priests from Notre Dame, the Boston Archdiocese, and the Church of St. Paul in Hamilton, was held on Wednesday, August 5, in the chapel on the Gordon College campus to accommodate the multitude of mourners.
The thoughts and prayers of the entire Shore community are with the Trustey family now and forever.