By Mallika Mitra
The annual Kings Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade will include a tribute to John Trodden, this year’s grand marshal.
Trodden, 67, was born in Copiague and moved to Kings Park with his family when he was 1 month old.
He was educated at St. Joseph’s elementary school, St. Anthony’s High School and Kings Park school of nursing.
He met his wife, Ellen, in Kings Park and moved to Pennsylvania where he began his career as an anesthetist but moved back to Kings Park where he and Ellen raised their five children, four of whom still live in Kings Park.
“I have traveled all over the world and I will never leave Kings Park,” Trodden said.
His mother, father, aunts, uncles and cousins, live in Ireland and he is very involved in the Irish community of Kings Park.
“American first, Irish always and Catholic forever,” said Trodden, a deacon at St. Joseph’s Church in Kings Park. “That’s my involvement in the Irish community.”
Receiving the most number of votes from the Kings Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade committee, Trodden will be the fourth grand marshal on March 1 at noon, starting at the corner of Lou Avenue and Pulaski Road and continuing down Main Street.
“John Trodden is a beautiful person,” said Kevin Denis, president of the Kings Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade and owner of Professors Diner on Indian Head Road.
He has known Trodden for 38 years and had the deacon renew his wedding vows.
This year the deacon was chosen because “he has done a lot of good for the people of Kings Park,” said Randy Shaw, a member of the committee parade who organizes all the bands.
Trodden has served in several administrative positions at the Kings Park, Pilgrim and Central Islip psychiatric centers and St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center, which at the time was St. John’s hospital.
“He is very involved in the state hospital system on Long Island,” said Councilman Bob Creighton, one of the parade organizers. “He is a progressive and enthusiastic administrator.”
Trodden was an altar boy at the councilman’s wedding 54 years ago, Creighton said. They now see each other often because Creighton is active at the church where Trodden is a deacon.
“He is a very community-oriented fellow who comes from a great family and is really a nice, decent, good man,” Creighton said.
Trodden also did administrative counseling at the Diocese of Rockville Centre after being asked by the bishop for his help, he said. He is a chaplain for the Kings Park Fire Department and the Suffolk County Police Department, where he provides pastoral counseling.
Trodden said he has also served as a deacon for Teams of Our Lady, which strengthens and provides support groups for marriage. Trodden is a member of Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal benefits organization.
“I am honored,” Trodden said about being selected as this year’s grand marshal. “It is a tribute to my mother and father, a tribute to my wife, Ellen, a tribute to my children and to my grandchildren.”