Cindy with brothers Mark and Tom
Although Cindy Truxton retired from RexAir about a year ago, she never quit her favorite job:
Making people smile.
That’s her job, that’s her attitude, that’s her life. Making people smile. Making people laugh. Staying upbeat. Although her life hasn’t always been easy, she makes the most of each and every day with a positive attitude.
A ’76 Evart graduate, Cindy grew up as a self-described, “Army brat and farmer’s daughter.” After spending much of her childhood moving from base to base, her parents Norm and Irene settled into their 80th Avenue farm between Marion and Evart. And this area became home.
These days, Cindy stays busy as an important member of the local Eagles, and as a member of the Marion School Board. She volunteers whenever needed, taking tickets, helping with track meets and book fairs, among other events.
She enjoys spending time with her son, Allen, and her granddaughter Monique. Family is everything for Cindy.
We caught up with Cindy recently, and we learned more about her story. We learned that Cindy Truxton is more than just another face in the crowd.
Marion Press: Where were you born and raised?
Cindy: Dearborn and Detroit. I was only there for 6 months. Dad was in the military – in the Army – so we moved around a little bit. From Detroit, we went to Traverse City for a few years. When I was 7, we moved to Puerto Rico and we lived there for 7 years. That was fun. We had school in barracks with no air conditioning. A little toasty, but we were kids and we adjusted. Mom [Irene] took me out of school one day in Puerto Rico; Phyllis Diller, Bob Hope, and Jeffrey Hunter were filming a movie down there, and I got my picture taken with Phyllis Diller. She was touring one of the army hospitals down there, and dad [Norm] was able to get us in there because he was in the army; he was in recruiting.
Then mom and dad bought the farm on 80th Ave – where my brother Mark and his wife still live. So I’m a farmer’s daughter and an Army brat. We were raising beef cattle, and I was putting up the square bales, and unload the wagon to my brothers up in the hay barn – that was always fun! My father was one of the first people in this area to get a round baler, and he custom round baled for a lot of the farmers in the area – to include us – which really lessened the load for us kids. I raked hay for dad as a kid, when I could. I graduated from Evart in ’76.
MP: Growing up in the ‘60s and ‘70s. What a time to be alive.
Cindy: It was a wonderful time. It really was. I’m very happy God put me on this Earth at that time.
MP: What else kept you busy growing up?
Cindy: 4-H. When we got back to the farm, it was definitely 4-H. My brothers and I were into 4-H, livestock. Some cooking, and ceramics, things like that. Bonnie Neuman, she was the art teacher in Evart, and we took ceramics classes in her basement – that was fun. She was very artistic and helped all of the kids out. Being in 4-H with livestock, my son got into 4-H, and then I became a 4-H leader in livestock. That was a big part of my life. Just learning how to show the animals, and things like that, that was a lot of fun. During that time, I ended up running for the Osceola Farm Bureau Queen. They just needed an extra body in there, people to do it, and I ended up winning.
MP: After graduating, where did life take you?
Cindy: My first job out of high school was working at Bonanza – before it turned into Ponderosa. From there, I went to the Bagpipe for 3 years. I worked at the grocery store in Marion – Bruce Kime owned the grocery store, and then he sold it to Mr. Bennett. I worked there for a few years too.
After the Bagpipe, I went to work for RexAir, and I worked there for 37 years. I worked many jobs in there; I worked every area, I think, at one time: From the motor line to the power nozzle; service area, final line, QA… About anything they asked me to do, I did.
MP: What did you enjoy the most about your time at RexAir?
Cindy: I loved training, working with people. The training aspect was a lot of fun. I retired a little over a year ago, and I still have friends that we meet up with and get-together. We go golfing in the summertime and go to concerts. I still have a good rapport with friends from work.
MP: Now that you’re retired, what keeps you busy?
Cindy: With retirement, I love playing in my yard, working in my flower garden. But what I most enjoy is helping people. I joined the Eagles 29 years ago. Our motto is “People helping people.” And I firmly believe in helping people out.
MP: And you spend a lot of time helping out at the school, where you’re a school board member.
Cindy: The thing I love the most about helping with the school is the cross country. They need helpers out there, and the area I love working in is where the kids come out of the woods, and they’re coming up hill, and they’re so tired – it’s a long way into the race. And I like to cheer on every one of those kids – not just the Marion kids – because they’re all struggling coming up that hill. The greatest compliment is after the meets, I’ve had kids come up to me and say, “Thank you so much, I really appreciated you cheering us on. I needed that so much right then.” And that makes it all worthwhile.
MP: What do you enjoy the most about being a part of the Marion community?
Cindy: The friends. Old Fashioned Days, my yard is filled with tents and campers and people coming by. My son is a fantastic cook – he’s always coming up with amazing dishes – so if you want a good meal, stop by because he’ll be cooking that day.
You’ve got to make people laugh. That’s kind of how I deal with life in general. Don’t let it get you down, just make ‘em laugh. And they like that. And speak loud enough so the people in the back of the room can hear you. Some people, when they get up to speak in front of a room, they get quiet. Not me!
MP: That leads me to my next question: What’s the best advice that you’ve ever been given?
Cindy: If the sun’s not very shiny one day, you know it’s going to be the next day. You’ve just got to have faith and keep plugging along. Just keep plugging. Nobody wants to talk to somebody that’s unhappy. Wouldn’t you rather talk to somebody that’s upbeat? I want to be that upbeat person. I believe God watches out for us, and he won’t give us anything we can’t handle. The road of life is long, but a smile will soften the footsteps.
MP: Did that upbeat personality come from your parents? Where’d that come from?
Cindy: Mom and dad were pretty upbeat – they were very social – and family is huge to me; that’s a major part of my life. Growing up on the Michell farm – Elmer and Rachel Michell – that’s where my mom was born and raised. So every birthday, anniversary, holiday, we were always at the Michell farm. Hayrides in the wintertime; the grandkids would always put on a Christmas skit for the family. We always had a Mary and Joseph, and we always had a baby Jesus, because they were popping out babies! We’d always read the Christmas story, and my cousins and I would always act it out. We’d have the camels, and the wise men… We’d get into grandma’s closet, and Aunt Rachel’s closets and get all decked out. We always went on a Hayride. Uncle Elmer always got the tractor out, and that’s the only time I’d ever see Grandma Ida in pants. She’d put on some leather bomber pants that my Uncle Kenny had when he was in the service, to keep her warm on the hayride. We had great, great memories.