NATALIA, Texas — Sports fanatic and lover of people, Trudy Smith bled blue throughout her life in Natalia.
The Natalia High School graduate died Thursday morning after battling a chronic lung disease and rare form of cancer.
Natalia ISD athletes and coaches surprised Trudy on Wednesday, who was recently put on hospice care. They sang the school fight song, shook hands and expressed gratitude for the imprint Trudy had on the Natalia community.
But not even illness could truly defeat Trudy’s spirit.
“I feel like yesterday when the coaches and a lot of the athletes surprised my mom, that was closure for her and once most of our family got to say bye yesterday and the athletes and coaches came yesterday she was good and aside from family she loved Natalia, she loved those athletes, she loved those coaches and for them to say goodbye, she was done fighting,” said Trudy’s son, Eric Smith, who serves as the Natalia ISD board president.
Trudy’s husband, Sam Smith, served on the Natalia school board for more than 15 years and been on city council for over two decades.
Together, they made it a mission to attend nearly every home and away game.
“There wasn’t a Friday night game we missed,” Eric said.
Trudy was the ultimate fan alongside her husband, Sam, the voice of the Mustangs since the 1970s.
“My mom loved football, she loved all sports, but she really loved football, she really loved softball and they attended almost every single home and away games since the 1960s,” Eric said. “It’s all about Natalia, it’s about the Spurs, the Cowboys and the Texas Longhorns where they also had season football tickets.”
Eric Smith will now go to future Natalia sporting events with his father.
While his mother Trudy won’t be there in person, her spirit will resonate with those who knew her and soon become recognized by those who did not.
Eric’s sister, Holly Villanueva, a San Antonio firefighter, is also a Natalia graduate who played all sports during school.
Trudy Smith will forever be loved and never forgotten.
“I will be putting together a scholarship on behalf of my mother, a pride of a mustang scholarship on behalf of my mother to carry on her legacy in this town," Eric said.
This September would have marked Trudy and Sam's 50th wedding anniversary.