Sad to say...we lost a good man on October 19, 1999

Ned Trovillion's Obituary

Many of the pictures were copied by permission from Ned Trovillion.  They were copied from his book titled,  "Southern Illinois....a photographer's love for the countryside and its beauty".  He allowed me to use his photographs on my website to show some of the beauty that Pope County has to offer.  I appreciated his kindness and generosity.

The book was published by:
Cache River Press
2850 Oak Grove Rd.
Vienna, IL  62995

The following information was copied also from his book.



by former
    U.S. Congressman Glenn Poshard

I am proud to say that Ned Trovillion has been my friend for many years.  His remarkable photographs grace the walls of my home and office.  Burden Falls, Garden of the Gods, the Cache Wetlands and a thousand other scenes which he has captured remind us of the great variation of nature in Southern Illinois.  Ned's love for this region is obvious.

Ned's roots are deep in the soil of Little Egypt.  he was the firstborn of paul and Marian Trovillion.  Both his given name, "Edward," and the nickname he prefers, "Ned," are after his great-grandfather Elijah Edward Trovillion.  Ned's ancestral home was a modest log house with a hand-hewn stone chimney built in 1854 by Elijah on a Pope County farm granted to him for his service in the Mexican War.  Ned's father was educated at the University of Illinois after serving in World War I.  Subsequently, the family moved to a bluff-top farm overlooking Homberg (south of Golconda) and the bottom lands reaching to the Ohio River.  There they began development of an orchard enterprise.  Ned attended the one-room Hodgeville school with his brother and two sister, often sloshing through mud and snow more than a mile each way.  paul and Marian were strong leaders in the community, involved in church, school 4-H clubs, and community improvement efforts.  They were great role models for a wholesome, adventurous lifestyle and instilled in Ned a profound appreciation for things of nature and beauty.

In the depth of the Great Depression. Life magazine was born -- more of pictures than words, it let people experience the drama of life.  Ned's aunt, a freelance writer and charter subscriber, passed each issue to her nephew.  Studying the style of such greats as Margaret Bourke-White, Gordon Parks, and W. Eugene Smith, he was inspired and motivated.  He bought his first image maker, and Argus 35 mm Candid camera for $12.95.  Relatives were critical:  "Why would Paul and Marian let Ned spend his hard-earned money on a toy?"  As if to answer their question, within the year, Ned documented the 1937 Ohio River flood in Golconda.  In the same year his innovative snapshots of school life were published in the high school annual.  The following year he took his first plane ride in a Ford Tri-motor and photographed the University of Illinois campus.

In the Spring of 1940, his life interest changed when he met his wife-to-be, Jan, at a rural youth chorus meeting in Golconda.  she'd come to Golconda as an office secretary.  Their summer included trips to many scenic points in the area.  After a fall engagement, they were married at Christmas that same year.

Pearl Harbor the nest year plunged the nation into war.  Ned followed family tradition, volunteering for the service.  Their first child was born while Ned was overseas - a child he would only know for two years through pictures and loving letters.  Taking his camera to the China-Burma-India theatre, Ned used it well to document his experiences with orientals and their culture.  In the style of Life he photographed Chinese celebrating V-J Day and the immediate post-war scene in liberated Shanghai.

Following a discharge from the military, Ned and Jan both enrolled in the University of Illinois.  Graduating, they moved back to Pope County where Ned was readily employed as the high school agriculture teacher.  Both received their masters degrees at Southern Illinois University.

Happy to be home after nine years, Ned left teaching to begin a 30-year career in the U.S. Soil Conservation Service.  he continued taking pictures as he had while teaching.  Provided a professional Crown Graphic camera, he upgraded his black and white photographs, using then in news stories.  his proficiency in public relations was recognized when he won a state trophy for a picture story in the Metropolis News.  Other commendations followed; when one included a cash award, he invested it in a Canon SLR camera, laying aside his Argus.  After seven years, the Soil Conservation Service moved Ned to Vienna where his skills were needed in a developing watershed project.

During their 30 years in Vienna, Ned and Jan have given priority to their church; other activities included schools and civic efforts.  Elected a Kiwanis lieutenant governor for a year, Ned traveled to his 16 Southern Illinois clubs, sharing his love for the area in slide presentations.  he entered pictures in the Soil Conservation Society's annual contests, often winning state awards, and once capturing the international grand prize in Toronto.

With a taste for the exotic, Ned and Jan began systematically to travel the world in 1972, their three children grown and away from home.  They have visited over 50 countries on six continents.  They prefer destinations off the beaten path - Tibet, mongolia, Sri Lanka.  Celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, they photographed wildlife on the Galapagos Islands at Christmas.  Each trip became a new venue for pictures.  Thousands of slides are reduced to travelogues or educational programs.  Presentations to churches, schools and special interest groups number in the hundreds in Southern Illinois and the Tri-state area.  Drawing on a slide file in excess of 200,000 images, Ned can prepare programs on virtually any subject.

In the mid - 1980s, Ned's contribution of Southern Illinois scenics for publication in a 28 - page tourism guide gave wide-spread recognition to his works.  The state tourism agency used his Garden of the Gods image in a two-page ad in national magazines and metropolitan newspapers.  Several banks, offices, colleges, and restaurants have decorated their lobbies with Ned's photographic portrayal of the area's striking scenery.

Ned now devotes part of his time and skills as a "volunteer photographer" for The Nature Conservancy with pictures being published and slides used in programs relating to the Cache River Wetlands Joint Venture.

I am certain you will love this book.  Ned has given us in photographs what John Allen, Southern Illinois historian, gave us in words, a sense of who we are and an explanation of why we love this land so much.  Share this book with your neighbors and friends, but especially your children.  Take them to see these wonderful places that belong to all of us.  Ned's reward is knowing that the gift is being passed on.

signed, Glenn Poshard


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