George F. Trunk, a retired Internal Revenue Service agent who served in the Pacific theater during World War II, died Thursday of cancer at Stella Maris Hospice at Mercy Medical Center. He was 75.
Except for a three-year stint in the Navy, Mr. Trunk lived his entire life within a few blocks of his boyhood home on Chesley Avenue in Ovenlea - anchored to St. Michael's Church and the familiar rhythms of the neighborhood where he was raised by his German immigrant parents.
"He never really did anything spectacular in his life," said Mark Trunk, his eldest son. "But he was a good man. The family was the center of his world. He took good care of us, so much so that he didn't always take very good care of himself."
Educated at St. Michael the Archangel School and Kenwood High School, Mr. Trunk graduated in 1942 and spent a year apprenticing in a steel mill before he enlisted in the Navy. Posted to the tender ship USS Whitney, he served as a torpedoman until his discharge in 1946.
By the end of the next year, the course of his life was set. He met a young nurse named Iris C. May at a party in Essex, married her and took a job as a clerk for the U.S. Treasury office in Baltimore, where he eventually was made special agent.
Mr. Trunk retired after 34 years, and devoted much of his time to cabinet-making, which he learned from his father.
"He made dressers, bunk beds and bookshelves for all the kids," his son said. "You walk into any of our homes, and you'll see something dad made. He used to joke that he picked up the family gene, and he was quite proud of it. He was quite good at it, too."
A past commander of the St. Sebastian's post of Catholic War Veterans, he also became a fundraiser for mentally handicapped people in honor of his youngest child, Jonathan.
A viewing will be held at Lassahn Funeral Home, 7401 Belair Road, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. today. A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at St. Michael's Church at 11 a.m. tomorrow, followed by interment at Parkwood Cemetery.
In addition to his wife and two sons, all of Baltimore, Mr. Trunk is survived by two daughters, Susan F. Melefsky of Forest Hill and Janet T. Jones of Fork; two sisters, Leona Hirsch of Rosedale and Margaret Hashagen of Conowingo; and eight grandchildren.