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Community members in Ferndale remember Trudy Williams
FERNDALE- A beloved Ferndale business owner, Trudy Williams, also known as the “Wonderful Candy Lady,” passed away peacefully on Thanksgiving.
Trudy Williams moved to Ferndale in 1973. In 1975, she took over her son’s candy business, and she named it Trudy’s Sweets and Treats.
"As she told me on more than one occasion, 'I sell candy, but my real business is being a grandmother to kids who need somebody to talk to,' and that's the bottom line with her,” said Karen Pingitore, the President of the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce.
"When my kids were small, they used to hang out at her store with all the other kids that lived there. I always called her my best babysitter. Anyway, she was a special woman. She was great to the kids. She knew just what they needed and knew how to make them behave and my kids grew up loving her and the town will really miss her," said Polly Stemwedel, the owner of Lentz Department Store in Ferndale.
"I don't think a kid ever walked in there who didn't get the advice they came in for or the candy bar or whatever. Trudy was the definition of a beautiful lady, a good person," said Joe Koches, the owner of the Blacksmith Shop in Ferndale.
Her former customers cherish their memories with her.
"I felt like a kid in a candy store. It was pretty amazing. She would always have popcorn cooking so it would always smell really good. She would always have the best candy that you could ask for. She always had penny candies, which you don't see anymore," said Brett Boynton, who first shopped at Trudy’s Sweets and Treats when he was four years old.
"You'd go in there and she'd say 'Hey, how are you doing? And you'd just talk to her and you'd go and you'd eat candy and she'd always make conversation with you no matter what. She was always in a good mood," said Jesse Barrer, a former customer.
Trudy had a wall of pictures facing Main Street, which she continuously added to during her 38 years as the “Wonderful Candy Lady.”
"It was probably 10 pictures thick because every two or three years, you'd get a new picture up on the wall," Boynton said.
"She chose to basically immortalize all of those visits and all of those kids by keeping them in a photo album close to her, not only close to her store, but close to her heart," Pingitore said.
Trudy will stay close to the hearts of many in Ferndale for years to come. She was 90 years old and is survived by her two children and six grandchildren.