Grovetown mourns ex-Mayor, Councilman Dennis Trudeau

Dennis O. Trudeau
Dennis O. Trudeau(Contributed)
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 4:38 PM EDT
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GROVETOWN, Ga. - Former Grovetown community leader Dennis O. Trudeau has died at the age of 97, according to the city.

Trudeau was both a longtime mayor and City Council member, serving in the city’s highest seat from 1988-2011. During his tenure, he oversaw the installation of the first traffic lights in the city, as well as the installation of sidewalks throughout town. He served as mayor when both the middle and high schools were built, as well. The 33rd-degree Scottish Rite Freemason was also a longtime member of Grovetown Lodge 730.

Trudeau served in the Canadian army during World War II, participating in D-Day and storming the beaches of Normandy. He was also a prisoner of war, never giving up hope and continuing to fight for both himself, and his country.

In his later years, Trudeau was honored for his service both here and abroad, to include a ceremony held in Normandy in 2019, and a ceremony at City Hall in 2021, where he was presented the French Legion of Honor. His service is forever immortalized on the Veterans Wall at Veterans Park next to City Hall.

Mayor Gary Jones said: “Mayor Trudeau was instrumental in paving the way to make Grovetown what it is today. My sincere condolences are extended to his family.”

Councilwoman Dr. Sylvia Martin said: “I am so sorry to hear of his passing. He fought very hard for us to get a high school in Grovetown and won. He was a very loving and caring man and mayor.”

Councilwoman Ceretta Smith also sends her sympathies, stating: “I am deeply sorry to hear about the passing of our former Mayor and Councilman Dennis Trudeau. My deepest sympathy goes out to the family. Prayers of comfort and peace for the family.”

Mayor Pro-Tem Eric Blair offered an anecdote about Trudeau.

“As a fellow paratrooper, Mr. Trudeau and I would joke back and forth with each other about ‘why someone would jump out of a perfectly good airplane,’ and the answer is, ‘To open a perfectly good chute.’ I am thankful for veterans like Mr. Trudeau, for his service, sacrifice, and contribution to our nation and community, both on and off the battlefield; he, and veterans like him, paved the way forward for those of us, like me, who followed.”

Councilwoman Dr. Deborah Fisher also shared a few remarks, saying: “Though I am filled with deep sorrow for the loss of our hero, our good friend, our leader, a kind, generous, selfless gentleman and loving family man, I know that his spirit of kindness and selfless service, as well as the way that he unselfishly served everyone, is etched in our hearts forever. To the family, my prayers for peace and calm during this time of grief are with you. And to my friend, Dennis, we know that old soldiers never die. Rest in peace dear comrade. You have stood watch for our county and our City for a long time, sir. May God bless your soul.”

He is preceded in death by his wife, Emmaline Trudeau, and survived by several loving family members including daughter and son-in-law Mel and Gail Newcomb, granddaughter Joy Sjolie, grandson Dennis (Gale) Newcomb, great-grandson Brandon (Katie) Sjolie, and great-great-grandson Nash Sjolie.

Condolences may be sent to: P.O. Box 589, Deltaville, VA, 23043-0589.