D. Martin Trueblood

Trueblood—D. Martin Trueblood, 94, on April 13, 2020, at Foulkeways in Gwynedd, Pa. Martin was born July 26, 1925, in Indianola, Iowa, on the living room couch at the family farm. He was the first child and son of the late D. Elton and Pauline Goodenow Trueblood, both Quakers. As the son of a professor and chaplain who believed children learned best by travel, Martin grew up on many university campuses including Harvard University, Guilford College, Haverford College, and Stanford University, living a “chaotic and nomadic life” (Martin’s words). Martin and his younger brother Arnold had many escapades together, particularly near the Stanford campus.

He attended Westtown School near West Chester, Pa., and graduated from Earlham College in Richmond, Ind., in 1947. A week later, he married his wife, Margaret, who also graduated from Earlham that year. The year before, he graduated from Notre Dame University as a naval officer. Because he was opposed to combat, he had intended to be a medical officer, but the navy placed him in engineering. In 1952, he was recalled during the Korean War, and as a naval intelligence officer was stationed in Pearl Harbor, where he did highly classified military surveillance. He also learned the hula, snorkeled, and gazed endlessly at volcanoes.

Both Martin’s and Margaret’s parents came from Quaker families dating back centuries to the birth of Quakerism in the 1650s in England. Their family trees were constant sources of fascination and discussion.

Returning to live in Gwynedd in 1954, the family of four joined Gwynedd Meeting. They soon became a family of six, living in Blue Bell, Pa., for many years. Martin worked at Standard Pressed Steel Company (SPS) in Jenkintown, Pa., until 1970. At one point he rose to the position of “Assistant Manager of the Nut Division.” He also spent time in Galway, Ireland, and Sheffield, England, managing SPS plants in those cities.

In 1970, Martin radically changed careers once again, becoming associate director of Foulkeways at Gwynedd, thereby beginning his career in retirement community administration. Martin took the helm as director of Pine Run Retirement Community in Doylestown, Pa., in 1974. In 1976, he oversaw the creation and building of Broadmead Retirement Community in Cockeysville, Md., and was its first director. In 1986, he became director of Williamsburg Landing Retirement Community in Williamsburg, Va.

Martin’s expertise, knowledge, and wisdom about creating and running Quaker retirement communities made him a highly sought-after consultant for continuing care retirement communities. His great gift was his ability to imagine, cultivate, and guide vibrant, comprehensive communities for retired people serving all well-being needs.

Martin achieved success in every part of his life, professional and personal, because he sought to help others reach their full potential. Although he was often the boss, he never made anyone feel inferior, and he was always accessible. Martin modeled inclusivity. He connected authentically with every person he encountered, recognizing people’s abilities, and took time to mentor and foster others. People truly loved him for this quality. He taught by example and, without intending to, encouraged the best in others.

He loved spending time at the family cottage at Lake Paupac in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania.

He is survived by his wife, Margaret Trueblood; four children, Rachel Trueblood, Craig Trueblood (Marilyn), Peter Trueblood (Cindy), and Christopher Trueblood; seven grandchildren; a brother, Samuel J. Trueblood (Mary Ellen); a sister, Elizabeth “Honey” Trueblood Derr (Dan); and a sister-in-law, Caroline Trueblood. His brother Arnold E. Trueblood died in February 2020 (see previous milestone).

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