Trudy Rose Brody
Trudy was born in 1946; the middle in age of three sisters. Her 16-month older sister cannot remember her life without Trudy in it; they did everything together as children. Trudy was gregarious and friendly, had loads of friends and was the peacemaker in their nuclear family.
Trudy’s interest in helping others through mental health and psychotherapy services began at a young age. She was the daughter of a Boston-area Neuro- Psychiatrist, and she spent her high school summers performing volunteer work at local hospitals, helping to cheer patients and to heal them emotionally from the malady that brought them to the hospital.
She attended Adelphi College where she received a BA degree in Sociology/Social Work. Trudy then attended and received a Master of Social Work (MSW) from the Smith College School for Social Work in Northampton, MA. During her graduate level studies she completed internships at Family and Children’s Society in Baltimore and at Community Service Society in New York City. This was at a tumultuous time in the country; her internship in Baltimore being during the period surrounding the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the resulting Baltimore riots. Her husband’s cousin recalls this time and hearing Trudy talk about her experiences in Baltimore and how adventurous and exciting it seemed; and how she admired Trudy so much for her toughness and daring.
Due to an airline scheduling circumstance Trudy ended up meeting her future mother-in-law and father-in-law by introducing herself to them instead of being introduced by her husband-to-be. None-the-less she was so unflappable and dealt so well with the unexpected that she immediately began a wonderful and special relationship in those first hours with her in-laws that continued to be extremely close over their life-times. She was like a daughter to them.
Trudy had met her husband, Marty just as she was beginning her graduate level studies They carried on their long-distance courtship between Northampton - Baltimore – Long Island for her first and second summers of classes at Northampton and the internship in Baltimore. Because of their impending marriage she could plead a “hardship” and have her second internship in New York City. Before her third summer of classes she became pregnant with their first son and took a one-year leave of absence from her studies. The next summer Marty took a leave of absence from his work and they lived with their young son in Northampton, where she graduated with her MSW. Their second son was born in 1975.
Shortly after completing her studies she began her social work career. Trudy worked/consulted at several organizations on Long Island, including the Sunrise Psychiatric Clinic, North Suffolk Mental Health Center, Women’s Center of Huntington, and Community Health Plan of Suffolk. She then opened her private practice, where she spent the remainder of her career.
It was important to Trudy that she share her knowledge and experience with Social Work students and newer members of the profession. At each place that she worked Trudy served as a Field Instructor/Adjunct Professor at Adelphi University and/or a Field Instructor at SUNY (Stony Brook). Trudy also served as Director of Internships and as Director of the Play Therapy Program at a local mental health clinic. While she maintained her private practice she also provided supervision to other clinical social workers.
Trudy was an extremely compassionate and giving individual, and volunteering her time to help others was important to her. For four years, she was a volunteer at Response of Suffolk County, a crisis hotline, where she provided telephone counseling to people in need and trained other telephone counselors. She also volunteered her time with the American Red Cross providing crisis intervention services to people of Suffolk County and the New York metro area following major disasters such as the Egypt Air plane crash in 1999, and the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Trudy was very relaxed and dealt so very well with the unexpected throughout her life. This enabled her to deal with and help her patients who presented her with difficult problems in their lives and she was very effective in helping them to see solutions. She was loved by the people she helped during her career as a Clinical Social Worker, and many continued to maintain contact with her after their therapy was completed.
Trudy was dealt a very difficult hand in the mid 2000’s when she developed Polymyositis, an autoimmune disease that severely weakened her muscles. She fought through this for well over a decade, and continued to maintain her private practice working around the physical limitations imposed by her muscles. She was able to maintain a good life and still do many things with her family that probably surprised many people. During this time, she helped to found and lead a support group for people on Long Island affected by myositis. She was very brave and strong. She spent many hours a month having intravenous infusions to try to suppress her immune system so that it would not continue to attack her muscles. Her body was weakened by all of this, although her determination was not. She kept trying until her last breath, however ultimately her body could no longer withstand and she succumbed to an infection.
Although she lost a great deal of her Boston accent over the years she remained a staunch fan of the Boston Red Sox, watched as many games as she could and regularly gave Red Sox oriented gifts to family and friends. Trudy was a long-time resident of the Smithtown community, where she lived with her husband, Marty, and raised their two sons.
Two of Trudy's very best friends summed her up with these two lines by J. P. McEvoy: "A friend is not a feller who is taken in by sham; a friend is one who knows our faults and doesn’t give a damn”. She was an excellent role model for her family and friends. She taught us all a lot about inner strength, bravery, and dealing with self as well as others. Trudy has been so special to so many of us.