Walking is 102 year old’s passion
Ray Truedson, 102, walks around the track with his son, Conrad, May 9at the Park District Fitness Center in Oak Brook. "We walk a half mile a day," Conrad said. "Five days a week." | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 2, 2012 8:36AM
At the Oak Brook Park District, you’re almost guaranteed to meet a member of the Truedson family; Tom, a park commissioner, brother Conrad, a runner, or their 102-year-old father Ray.
Ray Truedson and son Conrad, 58, walk the indoor track five days a week and have become familiar faces to the staff and fellow users of the facility.
Ray Truedson walks with a special walker equipped with four wheels to help him during his two laps around the track. It was an idea that came to his son after a shopping trip.
“We went to a store, I gave him the shopping cart and he went flying down the aisle,” Conrad Truedson said. “He walks at a pretty good pace. It helps him out a lot.”
After walking his laps, which total a half-mile, Ray Truedson takes a break near the track’s entrance while his son runs a few laps, stopping to talk to his father every time he passes.
“Oh yeah, I enjoy walking,” Ray Truedson said. “Even as a kid, I always enjoyed walking.”
Born Feb. 15, 1910, Ray Truedson attended Galesburg High School, graduating in 1928. He attended Lombard College, which closed its doors in 1930 during the Great Depression. According to his son, Ray Truedson is one of three remaining alumni from the downstate school.
A World War II veteran, Ray Truedson was drafted after his 30th birthday and served in Guam, helping decode messages for the allies. He attended the first All-Star Game at Comiskey Park in 1933.
He and his wife of 59 years, Lela, moved into the Fullersburg Woods area in 1955. They will celebrate their 60th anniversary June 2.
After leaving the Army, Ray Truedson worked for American Express and retired in 1975. Up until 2004, he would often walk more than two miles throughout his Fullersburg Woods neighborhood, crossing busy York Road many times. He participated in his first 5K race when he was 90 years old.
In 2006, at age 96, Ray Truedson broke his hip. The injury would not slow him down, however, as he was back up and walking a mile just six months later.
“His orthopedic surgeon was stunned,” his son said. “It was pretty remarkable.”
Conrad Truedson, a 1972 Hinsdale Central graduate, took to running as well, participating in the first Hinsdale marathon in 1969 and running track in high school. It’s a passion he has shared with his father for many years, a passion that shows no signs of slowing down.
“He loves being over here,” Conrad Truedson said of his father. “Even when I was young he’d yell and say, ‘Let’s go walking.’ It has really helped him out a lot.”