Nell Ridley “Hoodie,” Troutman, remembered for her southern charm, creative pranks and a golden smile, died July 19 at her Atlanta home of breast cancer. She was 63 years old.
Troutman grew up in Atlanta and “liked people more than anything else,” said her brother, Bruce Troutman, of Reston, Va. Born October 2, 1949 in Atlanta, she shared the nickname “Hoodie” with her grandmother, from whom she also inherited an incredible skill for playing bridge, said her brother.
“She was definitely my father’s favorite,” her brother said, recalling the two had special hand gestures that they would use when together, especially when she helped to organize her father’s exhaustive audio collection. Robert B. Troutman’s recordings included more than 2,400 hours of music.
A memorial service will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. at H.M. Patterson and Son-Arlington Chapel in Sandy Springs. The family will receive friends an hour before the service.
Troutman graduated from the all-girls catholic high school, D’Youville Academy, in 1967 and went on to the University of Georgia, where she would tag along to her boyfriend’s (John McGreaham) journalism and film classes while often skipping her own. The two were married in 1970 and later divorced in 1975.
Though she never finished college, Troutman was hooked on what she learned in the film classes. She quickly learned everything she could about the audio/visual industry and worked her way up in the field, her brother said.
“She was a prankster,” her brother said. She was known for spontaneously sticking in a set of fake goblin teeth when she met strangers, he said.
A close childhood friend, Sophie Mason, remembered when Troutman had company over, she would place fake dog droppings on the floor to surprise her guests. She once met her friends at Lenox Square Mall in a Dolly Parton wig and fake buck teeth, Mason said. She was known for hosting great Halloween and Christmas-in-August parties.
In 1983, Troutman moved to Los Angeles to work for the L.A. Olympic Organizing Committee, alongside Peter Ueberroth, who was her a friend, and planned, produced and directed numerous films and videos for the 1984 Olympic Games.
Known for negotiating skills, a sharp wit and warm personality, Troutman was able to work with just about anyone, said Mason. She was seen as a pioneer by her friends and was admired for her ability to create a successful career in what was then a male-dominated industry, Mason said.
Troutman was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1991 but lived for another 22 years. She loved to travel and liked to always have her bags packed for a trip. Her journeys included visits to Tahiti, Tibet, Oman, Yemen and Fiji.
She is survived by her brother, Bruce.