William “Bill” Todd Sr., 81: Helped lead Peachtree Christian Hospice

Planning for the 2013 black-tie gala to support Peachtree Christian Hospice had just begun, and Bill Todd was in his element: planning and organizing.

The same skills he used as a district manager for BellSouth, he put into action on a regular basis as he co-chaired the Peachtree Christian Hospice board of directors with his wife, Martha. In recent weeks, Todd was gearing up for the first of two annual fundraising events for the hospice center, which he and his wife have been leading since it opened in 2000.

Martha Todd described her husband, of more than 36 years, as a well-organized man.

“When we first married, I was amazed at how he arranged his shirts in the closet. It was arranged by color and by hue. There was nothing persnickety about him, he was just very methodical.”

William Norton Todd Sr., called as Bill by all, of Cumming, died suddenly Jan. 22 while at Piedmont Hospital. He was preparing to receive a new pacemaker, his wife said. He was 81. A funeral was held Saturday at Peachtree Christian Church. Burial at Westview Cemetery followed the service. H.M. Patterson, Spring Hill, was in charge of arrangements.

A native of Sandersville, Todd is a 1952 graduate of Emory University with a bachelor’s in business administration. He worked for Southern Bell, which later became BellSouth, for 39 years before he retired in 1994. Besides his work with the telecommunications company, Todd was very involved with his community, especially his church. He helped establish two churches in the metro area: North Decatur Presbyterian Church and St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church in Dunwoody.

“He always wanted to be of service to his church,” his wife said. “And he was able to continue that through our work at Peachtree Christian Hospice.”

In 1999 the Todds were approached by their pastor and the late developer Scott Hudgens about the creation of a hospice center. The center was a dream of Hudgens, and he wanted the Todds to play a major role in its development and leadership.

“We were quite up front with Scott, that we didn’t have any medical experience,” Martha Todd said. “That was on a Saturday, I think. He told us we had until Monday to figure out how it would work.”

And Bill Todd did figure it out, she said.

Todd was known for not only offering solutions, but delivering results, said Anne Mancini, who worked with the Todd’s for the past 18 months.

“His presence always carried a certain amount of reassurance,” she said. “You knew you would walk out of a meeting, or leave a conversation, with the best solutions and that he’d see it all through.”

In addition to his wife, Todd is survived by their five children; Caron DuRant of Sumpter, S.C., William N. Todd Jr. of Cumming, David Todd of Clarkesville, Pam LaVangie of Marietta, and Elaine Arnett of Swuanee; nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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