Jane L. Trussell passed away peacefully on December 22, 2019 at home in Escondido at age 100. Born Jane Largent in San Diego, on October 17, 1919, she grew up in San Diego and graduated from Point Loma High School in 1937.
She was in the honor society every year and President of the Girls’ Athletic Association in her senior year. She then went to San Diego State College (now San Diego State University), finishing her teaching credential in 1942. In that same year the San Pasqual Union School District hired her as their teaching principal. Three years later she married Franklin Trussell, member of a pioneer family that settled in the Valley in the 19th century.
Mrs. Trussell remained both principal and teacher at the San Pasqual School for 34 years. She loved teaching the most. When she first began, SPUS was a two-teacher school. One teacher taught the first through fourth grades, and she taught fifth through eighth, also serving as principal and bus driver. After retirement, she continued to visit the school to help where she could until 2010. She was part of the school’s daily life for seven decades.
She also played an important role in the culture of the San Pasqual Valley where she could often be found under the Maple tree in her front yard, helping Franklin pack fruit for shipping on weekends or in the early morning before she went to school. Her nieces and nephews enjoyed her hobbies: model planes, pogo stick, unicycle, bongo board, etc. If it was hard to do, she was into it. She also founded a boys club for the valley and took the boys to see the world – the beach, Knotts Berry Farm, Disneyland, etc.
Mrs. Trussell had significant athletic talent and her chosen game was softball. She was a believer in competition and would often say, “There’s nothing like competition. You’re going to face it no matter what you do in life.” She played Fast-Pitch softball in the Southern California Women’s Softball League for 14 years. Although played with a softball, Fast Pitch is more competitive than the conventional Slow Pitch softball women play today. Known as “Dutch” Trussell, she played third base for a team called the Slick Chicks, which traveled all over Southern California looking for worthy competition. During that period, visits to Franklin and Jane’s house would reveal an ever-increasing collection of trophies and medals on display in the kitchen.
Mrs. Trussell also coached and umpired girls’ softball, both in San Diego and in Escondido for more than 50 years. Franklin and Jane had no children, but through her activities, Jane Trussell influenced the lives of hundreds of children. Adults today, these children all carry fond memories of her. A baseball diamond at Kit Carson Park in Escondido is named Jane “Dutch” Trussell Field and the Board Room at San Pasqual Union School is labeled Trussell Hall – both in her honor.
The Celebration of Life for Jane Trussell will be held on January 18 at 1 p.m. at the San Pasqual Union Elementary School, 15305 Rockwood Rd., Escondido.