Longtime resident Angela Trucks died last weekend. She was 69.
Her mark on Westport through beautification efforts is visible — literally — everywhere we look.
The Long Island native was a teacher, restaurant owner, and a village trustee. She was also one of the first female regional sales managers for Del Monte Foods.
Angela is survived by her husband William; her daughters Leigh Lutenski and Emma Trucks; their spouses Mark Lutenski and Jordan Padnuk, and her grandchildren Leonardo and Benjamin Lutenski, and Josephine Padnuk. Linda Adelman offers this tribute:
Angela Trucks was a force of energy to be reckoned with. She was artistic, curious, passionate and tenacious in her efforts to promote beauty. She loved Westport, and Westport benefited from her perseverance.
For well over a decade, as co-chair with Nancy Carr of the Westport Beautification Committee, Angela — a master gardener — conceived of and completed projects that improved the appearance of public spaces and promoted pride in our community. She maneuvered through bureaucracy, sought funding and donations, fostered consensus, and tackled physical work if needed.
The Re-Greening of the Post Road was a major 3-year project to improve the visual appeal of the Post Road between the Fairfield and Norwalk borders, and the median between Roseville Road and the Sherwood Island Connector.
Undaunted by state Department of Transportation red tape, town bureaucracy, business owners’ concerns, a shortage of funding or anything else, Angela resourcefully found ways to ensure that 90 trees were planted and cared for.
Angela encouraged business owners to take pride in their property, publicly recognizing the most outstanding “streetscapes” at an annual awards ceremony in Town Hall.
She envisioned gardens of perennials on the corners of the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, and made them happen.
Every spring, she guided the committee as they organized and oversaw the participation of local businesses in the planting of flowers and shrubs on traffic rotaries. They were called “Adopt-A-Spots,” and Angela was relentless in her effort to reduce the number of illegal signs littering those islands.
In the early years of her tenure, Angela delegated committee members to cut evergreens wherever they could find them to use as holiday decorations in baskets on light poles along Main Street. She never hesitated to climb a ladder to “plant” those baskets.
Angela Trucks, hanging a basket on Main Street.
Angela Trucks was warm, generous of spirit and full of life. She was an inspiration, a beloved leader and friend. She worked without fanfare, but had a lasting impact on Westport’s public landscape.
Angela’s death has left a hole in our hearts. She is a hero who will be greatly missed by many.
(In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Norwalk Hospital, in recognition of the caring and dedicated nursing staff.)