Surfer, traveler 'would light up a room'
Tamela Jo Trauth of Hempfield was an outdoors woman who loved to ski and surf, to travel around the world and could light up a room, her family and friends said.
“If you met her for just a moment, you would never forget her. She was the most brilliant person,” said Shannon Wingate, a close friend from Deltona, Fla., who met Trauth more than a decade ago when they both attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach.
Trauth, 37, died Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, in Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital, Greensburg.
Trauth was born April 13, 1975, in Greensburg, a daughter of Rebecca M. Velasco Trauth and the late Thomas J. Trauth, who died in 2004.
Trauth graduated in 1993 from Hempfield Area High School. She loved sports and played soccer for the high school team. She attended the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.
She moved to Daytona in 1999, where she enrolled in Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and graduated in 2004 with a degree in computer engineering.
Living in Florida gave her the opportunity to surf in the Atlantic Ocean, which she loved to do, Wingate said.
Trauth moved to Melbourne, Fla., where she worked for more than five years at Soneticom, an information technology company.
In addition to using her skills at work, Trauth helped friends and family solve their computer problems, said her uncle, Larry Velasco of Pueblo, Colo.
“Tamie believed in working hard and playing harder. She lived life to the fullest and always had a smile,” Wingate said.
Trauth loved adventures and challenges and enjoyed pushing herself and other people in her activities, Wingate said.
“She really liked to challenge other people,” he said.
Trauth loved to travel and the two of them toured Colorado, skied at Lake Tahoe, Nev., and visited Las Vegas, Wingate said.
Her global travels took her to sites in Canada, Mexico, Peru, Australia and New Zealand, Wingate said.
“She loved to be enriched by other people, to learn from them and be part of what their lives were about,” Wingate said.
In 2010, Trauth returned to the Greensburg area to be with her mother.
“She was such a good daughter to her mom. They were so compatible,” Larry Velasco said.
He recalled his niece's “beautiful, beautiful smile.”
“She was a spicy little girl who would light up the room,” Velasco said.
A gourmet cook, Trauth loved to try new recipes.
“She loved to come up with her own little inventions,” Velasco said.
She was a member of Our Lady of Grace Church, Hempfield, and the Westmoreland Ski Club. At Embry Riddle, she was a member of Alpha Phi Omega where she was known as “Casper.”
She enjoyed riding her bicycle along the local recreational trails and was a member of the Roudy Riders, a group of area bicycling enthusiasts, said Barry Premoshis of Hempfield, an avid bicyclist and friend of the Trauth family.
Trauth formerly worked as a waitress and bartender at Cherry Creek Golf Pub and Grill in Youngwood.
In addition to her mother, she is survived by her uncles, Dick Trauth of Connecticut, Larry Velasco of Colorado, and Jess Velasco of Florida; and aunts Lydia Montoya, Marcie Spinuzzi, Vera Marquez, Mickey Steine and Billie LaGreca, all of Colorado.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 1 p.m. Wednesday in Our Lady of Grace Church. Arrangements are being handled by Kepple-Graft Funeral Home, Greensburg.
Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.