Trent H. Ralston, 71, passed away Nov. 9, at St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua, N.H.
He was born in Mount Vernon, Ohio, on July 11, 1938, and was educated in Ohio, having attended both Denison University in Granville and Ohio State University. Ralston also served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. On Oct. 10, 1964, he married Rita Molyet.
Ralston was an insightful, innovative and dedicated entrepreneur and business leader who enjoyed creating opportunities for people and contributing to his community. He was founder and president of TRB Specialty Rehabilitation Inc. in Gambrills, Md., and held patents relating to a robotic sealing device. He had more than 30 years of experience in the pipeline construction and infrastructure rehabilitation industries. He retired in 1999, having sold the business, and moved with his wife to Nashua to be closer to his daughter and grandchildren.
He was the past chairman of the North American Society for Trenchless Technology (NASTT) and a past president of the National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO). He received lifetime achievement awards from both associations.
Ralston had a great sense of humor, always with a witty, folksy or clever comment at hand. He truly loved spending time with his family.
“Trent was one of the first people I met when I entered this industry. In retrospect I knew nothing, but he was extremely helpful and patient with a rookie,” said NASSCO executive director Irv Gemora. “Trent was always a major force within NASSCO as an active member, a board member and ultimately as president. He led the battle against a proposed ban on the use of acrylimide grouting with all of his energy and considerable first hand knowledge. Trent will be remembered as a leader and a gentleman and he will be missed.”
“Last March in Toronto, I spoke with Trent about the upcoming 20th anniversary of NASTT and the role he played in the trenchless industry and building our [NASTT] Society,” said NASTT executive director Michael Willmets. “The most remarkable part of the conversation was not his reflections on the past, but, Trent’s insistence that the best was yet to come. Trent was a staunch advocate of progress and was always at the forefront of promoting our industry. He gave freely of this time and energy to NASTT for more than six years and served as our chairman in 1999. The NASTT family will miss this true gentleman. We honor him for his guidance, his passion and his generosity.”
Along with his wife of 45 years, Rita, he is survived by a daughter and son-in-law and three grandchildren. A son is deceased.