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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

In Tribute to Mel Trujillo

My friends, as many of you know, Davis lost a dear and treasured resident of its community last Friday, Mel Trujillo. Mel was not just a community leader but he was also a very cherished personal friend of myself and Cecilia. We did not always agree with Mel. There were times when he was decidedly on the other side of the fence, such as he was with the issue of Covell Village. But Mel was always a person of profound conviction and character.

In the past year I have grown to know Mel Trujillo very well. He became incensed at the handling of the police issue, the Buzayan case, and the Human Relations Commission. Many a day, he would call me up with his unique voice, "hello David, this is Mel Trujillo." He would proceed often to long and frustrated monologues about the state of things. Other times he would call me up and pump me for information and I would have to figure out what I wanted to leak to his other confidants he spoke.

I will very deeply miss his calls and our conversations. And I will deeply miss the sound of his voice.

I copy and paste a couple of other statements that I have seen in the paper. Please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section.

From Bill Ritter (special to the Vanguard):
The passing of Mel Trujillo brings back a flood of memories. Mel was a champion of the underdog. Mel was a strong voice for civil rights, human rights and social justice always willing to come to the aid of those in our society who are victims of bigotry and racism in all its ugly forms. One of the most endearing traits Mel had was the ability to disagree without being disagreeable. I will cherish the many wonderful conversations we shared over the years. I will miss my friend.
From Bob Dunning:
Mel Trujillo made our city a better place

AN INCREDIBLE LOSS . . . if you look up "passion" in the dictionary, you'll find a picture of Mel Trujillo . . . Mel, who worked tirelessly for Years on a variety of human rights issues in our town, died Friday after a brief illness at the age of 77 . . . while Mel worked hard for Concilio of Yolo County and dedicated long hours to the Martin Luther King Jr. dinner and awards ceremony, at any moment he was intimately involved in more issues in town than most of us care about in a lifetime.

Mel and I frequently agreed and just as frequently disagreed on the proper approach to a vareity of issues, and he generally called much later at night than I would have preferred, but I always knew the guy on the other end of the conversation had something meaningful to say. Mayor Sue Greenwald said Mel Trujillo's death is "an incredible loss for the town" and no one can disagree with her...

Thanks, Mel... you made this town a much better place for all of us... your legacy will live on in the many valuable projects you saw through to completion and in the many friends you leave behind.
Letter to the Editor from Reverend Tim Malone
Rest in peace, Mel Trujillo

Me1 Trujillo died today (Friday). He was the co-founder of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Fund here in Davis. At this time, I am stunned into silence as I remember my friend and brother.

Mel was a man of action who always kept his word. He volunteered many hours, days and weeks to help deserving students to attend college. Mel was a brilliant man who worked hard to make this world a better place for everyone. He raised thousands of dollars to give to deserving students for scholarships.

For four years in a row, Me1 dedicated his life to make the MLK Dinner one of the best and most diverse positive events in Davis. The next MLK Award Dinner will be held on Monday, Jan. 21, 2008. We hope to see you there. We will honor our friend and brother, Me1 Trujillo.

Rest in peace, Mel.

The Rev. Timothy T. Malone
---Doug Paul Davis reporting