Trisha was born Joan Hurst, the only child of Betty Simpson, co-founder of the museum, and was raised in Harrow, Ontario. She reigned as Miss Sepia of the Emancipation Day celebration of 1961-62.
Trisha graduated from Patterson Collegiate Institute in 1962, and studied Sociology and Human Kinetics at the University of Windsor. She has worked as a typist-secretary, office manager, promotions manager, and courier driver. After fifteen years as an international long-haul transport truck driver she retired to become caregiver to her mother.
For the past several years she has been a volunteer and board member of the museum.