Rep. Truglia was born in Germany of an American mother and German father. She stayed in Germany throughout World War II, barely surviving the Allied air raids. Her father died in 1944 when she was eight years old from a heart condition. After Germany’s defeat, her mother helped translate for the American soldiers. In return the soldiers gave her family food and coffee. Mrs. Truglia in turn would share the food with the elderly and her neighbors. Her family left Germany in 1947 and settled in Darien. Her adjustment to life in America was difficult. She spoke no English and found the other children unfriendly because of her German background. After graduating from high school, she worked for an insurance company in Darien. She met her husband Tony when she sang in her church choir. Tony was the church organist. He later became a state representative, state senator and a music teacher in Stamford. When State Sen. Truglia died after a traffic accident in 1987, she ran in the 145th district. She served for 20 years until retiring in 2008. Rep. Truglia has been honored with the Grand Cross of Jerusalem by Pope John Paul II, the Distinguished Service Award by the Connecticut Department of Housing, the Child Care Champion in the State Legislature, the Legislator of the Year by the Hospice Council of Connecticut, the Pat Marshall Community Hero Award, the Child Guidance of Southwestern Connecticut Heart of Gold Award, the Coalition of 100 Black Women of Lower Fairfield County and the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans and End Hunger, Inc. of Connecticut.
Rep. Christel Truglia of Stamford was named Stamford Citizen of the Year for her championing of issues effecting children. She established the “Thumbelina Fund” because doing small things for “people means a lot.