Manhattan man remembered as family man, craftsman
By Casey Toner email@example.com May 13, 2012 6:48PM
Rayne Skoglund, 16, (left) and his mother, Jackie Trull, 34, talk about the accident that took the life of his stepfather, Robert Trull, 33, at their home in Manhattan Sunday, May 13, 2012. Robert Trull died Saturday at an auto junkyard in Joliet when a Dodge Durango truck fell on him while he was pulling parts to use on the Durango he had given to Rayne for his birthday a week earlier. Saturday was also Robert and Jackie's fifth wedding anniversary. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 15, 2012 10:49AM
Jackie Trull expected to spend Mother’s Day and her fifth wedding anniversary with her husband, Robert.
Instead, she spent the day planning his funeral.
Robert Trull, 33, of the 25300 block of Abbey Lane, Manhattan, died Saturday after a Dodge Durango fell on his chest and head at Joliet Auto Parts, 1014 E. Washington St., police said.
“I have a little boy that won’t have a memory of his father alive, and I don’t have a husband on my anniversary,” Jackie Trull said. “It’s a brutal anniversary and a brutal Mother’s Day.”
Police said Robert Trull went to the junkyard Saturday morning and made his way unaccompanied to the vehicle. Using two jacks to support the front and rear of the vehicle’s right side, Trull got beneath it to remove parts when one of the jacks apparently gave way. Another customer came back to the area and saw Trull’s legs sticking out from under the vehicle.
Jackie Trull claimed police told her he was pinned underneath the car for 30 to 45 minutes before he was discovered. By that time, he already was dead.
Rayne Skoglund, Robert’s stepson, was at the junkyard with Robert but he had to wait in the parking lot because he is underage.
They were going to pick up new parts for the 2001 Dodge Durango Skoglund was given for his 16th birthday. Together, they planned to restore the SUV.
Skoglund, who was sitting in the parking lot at the time of the incident, said Robert was looking for a four-wheel drive linkage piece when the accident occurred.
“When police showed up, I had a gut instinct something that was wrong,” said Skogland, a sophomore at Lincoln-Way Central High School.
Robert Trull grew up in Tinley Park, the youngest son of Debbie and Jessie Trull. He has two brothers, Kevin and Greg, and he went to Tinley Park High School, where he graduated in 1996.
Jackie met her husband 10 years ago. He was cocky, confident, and he acted like he knew everything. She fell for him instantly.
Struggling with loss
They were married five years ago on Saturday. They have two children, Caine, 3, and Cadence, 5, and two stepchildren, Rayne, 16, and Raegan Skoglund, 12.
“He had a zest for life, an energy nobody else could match,” Jackie Trull said. “He was a fantastic father, a fantastic husband, and he didn’t hesitate to let people know how much he loved his family.”
For the past five years, Robert worked as an equipment superintendent for Kiewit Construction. The company is based out of Omaha, Neb., but Trull worked out of an office in New York. He flew home every weekend to be with his family.
Jackie Trull said their two-story home was “his empire.” A craftsman, Robert spent his free time renovating the property.
He built a wood deck for their swimming pool, an outdoor kitchen, a shed in the back yard and a third port in their garage. He also redid the roof, poured the concrete for the porch and installed a stereo that connects into the basement and pumps music outside.
“Everything he planned was up in his head,” Kevin Trull said. “This is all his imagination and creation right here.”
Jackie Trull described her husband as a perfectionist who put all of his energy into all of his projects — including his own health. He lost 125 pounds after being diagnosed as a pre-diabetic in 2010.
“He used to be big Rob, and now he’s little Rob,” Jackie Trull said.
Randy Harris, the owner of Joliet Auto Parts, declined to comment Sunday. A sign on the outside of the business warns customers to enter at their own risk.
Jackie Trull, who is unemployed, said she wonders how she will manage her life without her partner.
“What am I going to do?” she said. “Where do I go from here? Everywhere I look in this house, all I see is him. It’s important for me to stay here.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.