Woman's legacy lives on in organizations close to her heart

By Hugh G. Willett knoxnews.com

It's been three months since Judy Ann Trego passed away suddenly at 61, but friends and associates will feel her presence every day at two of the most important organizations in her life.

The Lenoir City native's legacy will be visible in the coming years at Iva's Place in Lenoir City and at First Baptist Concord in Farragut.

At Iva's Place, Trego's work will continue in the form of grants that she solicited for the nonprofit women's shelter.

Nancy Grimes, program director at Iva's Place, explained how Trego is still helping the shelter apply for grants through the volunteers she trained over the many years she volunteered her services and knowledge.

"The shelter was very important to Judy," Grimes said.

Joann Rhymes is one of the grant writers and volunteers at Iva's Place. Sixteen years ago she met Trego while living in HUD housing. At the time, Trego served on the HUD board of directors, and Rhymes wanted to access federal funding sources for mothers in the community.

"There was money to be had, but no one knew how to get it," Rhymes remembered.

Trego, a licensed realtor who also helped found the ORNL Credit Union in Lenoir City, not only understood how to apply for funding, she also understood the importance of sharing her knowledge.

"Judy took the time to teach me how to get the funding," Rhymes said. "She taught me how to write and apply for grants."

Rhymes said she has raised thousands of dollars in funding for organizations such as Iva's Place and, through the skills she learned from Trego, she plans to generate thousands more.

"What she taught me back then, I've carried with me," she said. "I've been able to continue to generate funds through that knowledge."

A few miles up the road at First Baptist Concord, new walls have begun to rise as the congregation expands its campus.

According to Larry Trego, Trego's husband of 44 years, Trego loved the church and was especially called to provide her support and services to church projects that involved helping others.

Because Trego was a dedicated church volunteer who also sang in the choir, the family requested that donations be made in her name towards the current church building project, which includes a community meeting room, a chapel and athletic and educational facilities.

A photo of Trego will be mounted on the wall in the new church complex to remember the donations made in her name.