Gordon Charles Todd, 79, of West Hartford, CT, formerly of Manchester, CT, passed away the morning of June 1, 2020 at his home. It was his birthday.
Gordon was born on June 1, 1941 in North Adams, MA, to Gordon James Todd and Margaret “Peg” Demers Todd. He was an only child. He was of Celtic and French heritage, and said he most identified with his Welsh bloodline.
Gordon spent his early elementary years in Waterbury, VT. He shortly thereafter moved to Manchester, CT, attending the same elementary school his children would later end up going to.
His parents’ first Manchester house was located directly across the street from the house he would later buy with his wife, Barbara, where they would live for 40 years. He and Barbara would finally end up moving to West Hartford late in life.
During Gordon’s younger Manchester years, he and his parents would spend time visiting cousins and family friends and taking weekend drives to North Adams and other places like Mashamoquet State Park.
He graduated high school in 1959 from Wilbraham Monson Academy in Wilbraham, MA where he played basketball and studied history.
Shortly after high school, he joined the Air Force. That service took him to many places, including Dallas, where he set up military communications after the Kennedy assassination, and Greenland, where he guarded an artillery shack on a remote military base. Gordon was one of the few personnel who did not drink alcohol, so among his many duties was being in charge of the “booze” lockers and maintaining the slot machines in the officers’ clubs.
After being discharged from the service, he returned to live with his mother, then living in a different house in Manchester. This one was located directly next door to the Duncan family.
He would go on to meet and marry Barbara Duncan, purchase his own house down the street, and raise a family in that same neighborhood. He and Barbara were married for 52 years, prior to her death in 2018.
He used the skills he learned in the service to work for over thirty years at the Southern New England Telephone Company, where he began as a pole line operator and retired as a communications supervisor. One of the last projects he worked on at SNET involved the early stages of voice recognition.
He started actively running in the 1970’s, when it wasn’t the popular activity it is today. That soon would lead to hiking mountains all over the Northeast (ultimately celebrating the White Mountains’ 4,000 footer club three times over), participating in sprint triathlons, running full marathons, finishing countless races (including decades of the Manchester Road Race), and a daily dedication to the gym.
Many friends were introduced to these activities by way of Gordon’s encouragement.
Gordon was a caregiver, devoted friend, and all-around helper his entire life. Over the years, he took close personal care of his wife, in-laws, mother, and many others.
He helped his sons and granddaughters in more ways than can be described, always providing hands-on handy work, financial help, and advice as needed. He was loved deeply by his granddaughters, to whom he was known as “Pop-Pop” and “Gordo.”
Gordon helped his community by volunteering his handyman talents to the Methodist churches and devoting his time to drive cancer patients to their treatments.
He made many lasting friendships throughout his life, maintaining them by coordinating breakfasts, hikes, runs, activities, and help whenever needed.
Gordon also enjoyed scenic drives to Cape Cod with Barbara, camping, watching sports, listening to talk radio, and any do-it-yourself task.
Gordon Todd was one the smartest and helpful people most of us will know in our lifetime. He was truly a great man. We loved him and he will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his two sons, Christopher Todd and wife Jeanne of Manchester, and Mark Todd and wife Linda of West Hartford. He is also survived by his granddaughters Katie and Meghan Todd of Albany, NY, Molly Todd of Duanesburg, NY, and Margaret Todd of West Hartford; his former daughter-in-law, Amiee Hewitt of Duanesburg, NY, cousins Patty Demers and Barbara Gomeau of North Adams, MA; Charlie Demers of Hudson, NH, Shirley Riley of Mansfield, CT, and countless lucky friends - many life-long.
“No matter how sophisticated you may be, a large granite mountain cannot be denied - it speaks in silence to the very core of your being.” - Ansel Adams
Calling hours will be private at Manchester Funeral Home at 142 East Center St. Manchester, CT, followed by a brief service. Burial will be immediately following at East Cemetery in Manchester.
Due to the current restrictions, the funeral home services will be limited to family and Gordon’s closest friends. Due to being outdoors, the cemetery will have less restrictions, if you would like to attend the burial, it will be held on Saturday, June 6, 2020 at 12:00 pm. The family will also be having a memorial hike and luncheon at a later time this year so more can celebrate his life.
In lieu of flowers, Gordon would have very much wanted you to just head out for a long hike on a beautiful day. Feel free to leave a rock at a vista in his memory.
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