DULUTH -- William "Bill" Todd Sr. was known for his warmth, leadership and commitment to the community.
The co-founder, co-chairman and co-executive director of Peachtree Christian Hospice in Duluth passed away unexpectedly Tuesday. A reception and funeral service are scheduled at Peachtree Christian Church in Atlanta on Saturday.
"There is just an enormous hole left right now," Assistant and Chief Advisor to the PCH Board Chair Anne Mancini said. "Untold hearts are shattered right now over his loss."
Todd, 81, was born in Sandersville on Oct. 26, 1931. After graduating from Emory University in 1952, he served for two years in Korea for the Army, where he walked the rice paddies in an effort to disarm underground mines.
When he returned home, he worked for BellSouth for 39 years. During that time, he married his wife Martha in 1976 and raised five children.
In 1999, Jim Collins of Peachtree Christian Church and developer Scott Hudgens wanted to open a hospice in Duluth, but they needed someone to take charge at the location. Through funding and construction from Hudgens, the Todds stepped in to run the hospice.
"Bill Todd was the perfect choice to lead the founding of Peachtree Christian Hospice because he was a strong leader who could make things happen, but he led from his heart as well as his head," Peachtree Christian Church Senior Minister Barry McCarty said. "Bill and Martha always put people first. They were always focused on making budgets, calendars plans and construction schedules serve people. That's why everyone who worked with Bill loved him. He was a true servant-leader."
Over the years, Todd also showed support for the Gwinnett Hospital System, American Cancer Society, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Duluth Fall Festival, Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, Duluth Merchants Association, Rainbow Village and the Boy Scouts of America.
"He had a sincere interest in everyone he met," Mancini said. "Bill was a tremendously thoughtful leader. He teamed with individuals in metro Atlanta to make things better in the community as well as the hospice."
Todd is survived by his wife, Martha, and their five children: Caron DuRant, William N. Todd Jr., David Todd, Pam LaVangie and Elaine Arnett, plus nine grandchildren.
The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Peachtree Christian Church at 1580 Peachtree St. in Atlanta. The family will receive guests one hour prior to the service. Todd will be buried at Westview Cemetery at 1680 Westview Drive in Atlanta with military present.
The family has asked for donations to be made to the Peachtree Christian Hospice in lieu of flowers.
Those who would like to send sympathy cards to Martha Todd can mail them to 3470 Summit Trail, Cumming, Ga. 30041. The public is also able to leave online condolences at hmpattersonspringhill.com.