C. Erwin 'Trum' or 'Win' Trumbly Jr
Early in the morning of March 5, 2016, Win, also called “Trum” by his friends, passed away after a long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He succumbed in the comfort of his Medford home with family by his side. He was 71 years old.
C. Erwin Trumbly was born in Grants Pass, in Josephine County, Ore. August 2, 1944. He was the second child of Elna May Cambell and C. Erwin Trumbly.
Win spent his childhood summers at a small rustic cabin on the Rogue River in Galice, Ore. He devoted his free time to collecting arrowheads in a coffee can along the river banks, and fishing from the drift boat that also served as his family's transportation to and from the cabin. Exploring nature and fishing provided his fondest memories and favorite pastimes, activities he would later pass on to his children.
In 1958, after the passing of his father, Win moved to Medford with his mother and sister, Penny, where he attended Medford Senior High, graduating in 1962. He studied art at Southern Oregon College and learned and then taught ballroom dancing until being drafted into the army. Stationed in Alaska, he worked in the kitchen/mess hall, where his cooking experience grew and his passion for creating great cuisine began. After his discharge, he traveled in Mexico and then Hawaii before returning to the Rogue Valley.
In the early '70s, while tending bar at the Red Baron, Win met the most lovely waitress he had ever set eyes upon. She soon became the love of his life, his rock, and his lifelong best friend, Diane Mary Bolz. By 1972 they decided to plant their roots, start a family, and buy a home where they would raise their three children, a home they would share the rest of their lives. His children lovingly called him “Papa.”
Casual, yet neatly well-kept, dressed in his ironed 501s, button-up shirt, and Romeos with a freshly groomed beard, he'd be off to the restaurant or bar that he managed. Whether it was the 10th Street Junction, the Red Baron, The Blue Max, Wiley's Texas Style Barbecue, or the Corner Club, customers followed Win wherever he was working because they knew they’d find a good drink, a compassionate ear, and a great storyteller.
Win was not a formally religious man; he considered nature his church. He cherished his time in the deep of the woods, near the ocean, or on the river and made sure to raise his family with that same love, respect, and appreciation of the outdoors.
He was a thoughtful and particular individual with an eye for design that always showed through in his creative endeavors. Whether it was his neatly stylized handwriting, placing food on your plate with just the right condiment, or creating the perfect number of holes for a sturdy sinew stitch and beadwork on his leather pouches, he brought his unique and polished style to everything he did.
Win and Diane were the king and queen of family gatherings for decades. He was passionate about his food and famous for his BBQs. Friends and family just naturally seemed to gravitate to their home, where they would usually find Win in his comfort zone, his kitchen. Every meal in the Trumbly house was a feast of some kind. If you were lucky, he'd gift you with a jar of his infamous and highly sought-after jalapeño corn salsa or pickled asparagus, and when you'd stop by for a visit returning that empty clean jar, there was always a very good chance you'd be leaving with a full one.
C. Erwin Trumbly Jr. was preceded in death by his wife, Diane Mary Trumbly, and is survived by his three children Shanna, Monica, and Oliver Trumbly, and five grandchildren.
A public graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, March 26, 2016 at the Phoenix Pioneer Cemetery, 605 North Church Street, lot #28 section B. A gathering with light food and drinks will be held after the service. The address for the gathering will be announced.