His Life

Eric's Story

Eric Shawn Bones Truitt
April 8, 1970 - February 7, 2021

Eric was born on April 8, 1970 in Canoga Park, California to Diane Diamond and Dennis Truitt and passed on February 7, 2021 in Milwaukie, Oregon at age 50 surrounded by his family at home.

Without question, what Eric loved most was his family. He is survived by his wife, his daughters, his parents, his brother, his uncle, many “married-ins,” a host of nieces and nephews, and his dog, Luca. In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made by making a donation to the Eric Truitt Music Scholarship Fund through the Clackamas Sunrise Rotary Club. Eric greatly enjoyed his time as a Rotarian, living out the motto of “Service Above Self” and especially his time as Sheriff of the club roasting his many Rotarian friends. Donations will continue to keep the music legacy of Eric alive.

Eric was fortunate to live beyond his first year of life. He suffered from a rare choledochal cyst in his GI tract that was removed at six months old. This left him with serious scar tissue throughout his abdomen that would later complicate his life and contribute to the Cholangiocarcinoma diagnosis in 2020.

Eric grew up in the California San Fernando Valley. He began learning guitar at 10 years old, encouraged by his Uncle Chris who taught him his first chords. He was inspired by David Gilmour and Pink Floyd and through mostly teaching himself, became an avid guitar player. He graduated from John Burroughs High School in Burbank and went on to attend Glendale Community College. He spent his high school years working at the Peggy Woods Pet Store just down the street from the movie studios where he gained a love for animals, reptiles and fish.

Eric came to faith at 20 years old while at Burbank Foursquare Church. He volunteered in the youth group playing worship with the band and shared with many students his love of God and music. Faith was a very important aspect of his life. He never pushed his faith onto anyone but rather preferred to let his life speak for itself yet made himself available to answer questions if you asked. He truly believed that our bodies here are only temporary and when our time on Earth is over, those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior will spend eternity in heaven.

Eric married Elaine Easter, the love of his life, on October 16, 1993, and together they had two daughters, Kayleigh and Taylor. To support his family Eric took an electrician apprenticeship with the IBEW Union in 1997. In 2003, they relocated from California to Milwaukie, Oregon to raise their family. Eric left the union work behind and began a career at The Standard Insurance Company as a Building Operating Engineer, being the Journeyman Electrician on the team.

Eric was a talented musician who brought joy to many lives by sharing his passion for music. Eric participated in worship teams at Burbank Foursquare, Stevenson Ranch Community Church, and Portland Foursquare Church. Over the years he gave guitar lessons to many people of all ages. Always an encourager, Eric would downplay his abilities which would often lift others up as inspiration. Listening to him strum the chords of different songs or even create his own sound was always very soothing to all those who were blessed to hear him play. And there was always a guitar pick in his wallet!

As a man who enjoyed the natural beauty around us, Eric liked to garden and enjoyed the uniqueness of the plants and flowers he could grow. Knowing how much his wife enjoyed cut flowers, it was common to be at the Truitt’s and see a fresh cut bouquet in a vase, he even shared with the neighbors. Annually, Eric would instigate a “snowball fight” with blooms from the Eastern Snowball bush that grew in the front yard, spreading a flurry of tiny flowers inside and outside of the house, a fond memory of his daughters.

One of Eric’s favorite places to be was in North Lake Tahoe. He grew up visiting the family home in Dollar Point and continued the tradition of vacationing there with his wife and daughters, family members and amazing best friends.

A fan of sports, many social activities were planned around football or baseball games. Eric would represent his favorite teams, the Denver Broncos and New York Mets, and had the fan gear to show it. Super Bowl parties were a big thing and always included the half-time trip to 7-Eleven for slurpees on skateboards, bikes, scooters, or by foot. Another fond memory for his girls, their friends and many of the nieces and nephews.

Because Eric was a jokester and had a playful nature, he enjoyed playing practical jokes on people. Most of us know his favorite picture pose and were kept on our toes wondering when “the” moment would happen. A great voice impersonator, he would get into full character when telling funny stories. He had some classics and because his storytelling ability was so animated, many would request to “hear that joke again.” He was a fun guy who liked to play games and he liked to have fun with people around him! Who else would tell his wife that he wanted a comedian at his Celebration of Life?

Since Halloween was a favored holiday for Eric, kids would flock to their home to hang out since he made it so much fun to be there. When the girls were still trick-or-treating, he would join them and walk the neighborhoods encouraging them to get all the candy they could. At the end of the evening, all the kids were invited to participate in the GREAT candy trade. He had even gone to the store to buy candy for his own participation. Images of candy sprawled across the floor was a common sight during this time.

Eric enjoyed red wine and would have “wine phone dates” on a regular basis with his best friend in California. No detail was spared in analyzing the different nuances of a vintage; he even kept a written description in a notebook about the bottles he tried. He became very knowledgeable and appreciated the wine-making process that he made friends with many winemakers during his visits to wineries. Being so close to wine country in Oregon, if you were to inquire what he might be doing on a weekend afternoon, you would not be surprised to hear him respond “wine tasting, wanna go too?”

The humble, kind, and accepting man he was, it is easy to understand that the phrase “everyone loves Eric!” was a common description. He genuinely cared about you and what was happening in your life. Many of his days were spent in pain from the lifelong health challenges from scar tissue, but you would never know it since his concern about you and how you were doing were real. He was interested in what made you happy or what hurt your heart. He was known to sporadically reach out with words of loving encouragement at the perfect time or anticipate how he could help without being asked.  He will forever be missed.