Friday, March 14, 2003

Getting started, and finding Dad on the Web

I started a blog is to commemorate my father, Theodore Jameson Todd, better known as Ted Todd. Later I felt that it made more sense to merge the material and other family stuff in with my personal blog. Dad lived a long and active life. When he died, I told the family I'd put together a notebook about him. I bought ten white transparent-cover notebooks, and a few people sent thoughtful remembrances, but I did nothing aside from saving them. Time went on, I got busier, I grew my businss, my nonprofit, and my web site . . . and I started blogging. I thought, "Why not start a blog for Dad?" Since almost EVERYTHING seems to be online these days, I checked to see what I could find in a search for his name. The answer was, precious little. You can see those links below. For the most part, this blog will be filled with scanned and typed memorabilia from his life. In no particular order. That's the beauty of blogs. You add what you have or what strikes you as important on any particular day. If you find you need to reorganize the posts by date, you can do that, too (I just bumped this post to the top because I think the links are interesting). You can also find common threads in the "labels" list lower down on the right.

Here are the links to a few things I found on the Web:

1970, August 3: This is about the early days of drip irrigation. Scroll down on this page to find his name under Background of the Invention under Description.

1976: From the California Avocado Society 1976 Yearbook 60: 97-105: FRUIT REMOVAL FROM STEEP HILLSIDE AVOCADO ORCHARDS PROGRESS REPORT. (Once again, use Edit, Find to search for Ted Todd.)

1983: Avocado Society Yearbook, regarding advertising budgets.

1987: Meeting minutes with Dad as moderator. He would lead with humor whenever possible. This last bit was probably typical: "Todd: Al, I'm glad you added that comment, because I would have hated to adjourn this portion of the meeting on a happy note. (Laughter.)"

1992: "The 'Award of Honor' bestowed in most years by the California Avocado Society is given in recognition of outstanding contributions by individuals to the industry." California Avocado Society 1992 Yearbook 76:77-83: "Recollections of Avocado History at U.C.L.A." (Use Edit, Find on your browser to find Ted Todd on page 6.) There's some interesting history here about agriculture and education in California. And, Crawford Teague, a relative by marriage, was also among the few honored with this award.

Here is Dad listed with his Skinner ancestors (on his mother's side of the family) in the Skinner Kinsmen Update by Greg Legutki. I contributed some material during my genealogy days. Scroll down on the right to see the excerpt with his name in it.

And then this page is just some interesting stuff about the name. It also came up in my search.

Obituary: About Ted Todd's life

You can open or download the following text as a PDF file. Kathy, Gary, and Sheryl wrote this obit. Lois and her daughters wrote another one, which I'll try to find. We sent the unpublished obituary on this page to the Heritage Room of the Corona Public Library. The note said, "I am enclosing an obituary for my father, Theodore Jameson (Ted) Todd. It was written by my sister, brother, and myself. As it turned out, it was too long to publish in the Press-Enterprise, but since it contains information about his own and his ancestors' history with Corona (his ancestors were town founders and he was instrumental in local agriculture), we hope you will file it with the Heritage Room archives. He was a resident of Corona for about 64 years."

Theodore J. Todd
January 11, 1923 - March 14, 2003

Theodore Jameson (Ted) Todd, 80, of Prescott, Arizona, died March 14 at the Veterans Administration Hospice Center after a long battle with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, and Lewy Bodies.

Ted was born January 11, 1923, in San Francisco, California, the second of four children of Clement Joseph Todd and Bernice Jameson Todd, long-time residents of Corona, California. He spent most of his youth in Corona, which his grandparents and great-grandparents, the Jamesons and Joys, helped found in the 1880s. Ted’s parents continued to be prominent in the life and growth of the community.

Ted attended Corona Junior High and High Schools, and upon graduation, began studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. During World War II, he served in the US Navy in the Pacific Theater aboard the destroyer escort Downs. In 1946, he married Elizabeth Louise Versteeg of Los Angeles, with whom he had three children. He graduated from UCLA’s School of Agriculture in subtropical horticulture in 1948. After college, he assumed management of Todd Ranch Company, a family citrus and avocado business in Corona. Ted remained President of Todd Ranch Company until 2002. In 1979, he married Lois Madden of Goleta, California, and in 1993, they moved to Prescott, where they joined the Prescott United Methodist Church. During their retirement they enjoyed travelling and church and social activities.

Throughout his life, Ted was active in church and community affairs. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Corona, established by his grandparents and great-grandparents. He served on numerous committees and boards at local and state level, receiving many awards and commendations for his work. He was loved by family and friends, and respected in all aspects of his professional life. Hunting and fishing were among his favorite pastimes.

Ted believed in the importance of community service. This prompted him to become President of the Corona Parent-Teachers’ Association. He was a long-standing member of the Corona Lions Club, and served on the boards of the Temescal and Corona Water Companies. He was honored by the California Avocado Association (CALAVO), on whose board he served as Chairman for over 20 years, and received an award for "outstanding service to agriculture and industry as Chairman and member of the Industrial Welfare Commission" of the State of California, to which he had been appointed by Governor Ronald Reagan and again by Governor Jerry Brown. Other professional organizations Ted was involved with included Valley Fig Growers and the Avocado Society.

Ted’s practical optimism, sense of humor and adventure, honesty, kindness, dedication to responsibility and spiritual values, attention to family, creative problem-solving, and willingness to take on the challenges of hard work, made him a welcome part of the many endeavors to which he devoted himself throughout his full life.

He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Lois Madden Todd of Prescott; three children, a daughter, Sheryl Elizabeth Todd of Astoria, Oregon; a daughter and son-in-law, Kathleen Todd Rodriguez and Frederick Ruddy Rodriguez of Corona, California; and a son and daughter-in-law, Gary Theodore Todd and Bethany Ann Todd of Cottage Grove, Oregon; two sisters and brothers-in-law, Bernice Todd Morris and James Piers Morris of Anacortes, Washington; and Helen Todd Hewitt and Charles Edward Hewitt of Santa Monica, California; sister-in-law, Rosina Lee Todd of Golden, Colorado; five grandchildren, Karen Rodriguez Williams of Corona; Jacob Frederick Rodriguez of Riverside, California; David Joseph Rodriguez of Corona; Kristene Todd Maddux of Mulketeo, Washington; and Eric Steven Todd of Springfield, Oregon; three great-grandchildren; and ten nieces and nephews. His brother, Clement Jameson Todd of Golden, Colorado, passed away March 14, 1998.

Services for Ted were held March 18 at the United Methodist Church in Prescott. His ashes will be placed at the church, and a plaque will be added to the family plot at Sunnyslope Cemetery in Corona.

Markers and memorials in Corona, California

Although Dad's ashes are in Prescott, Arizona, my siblings and I wanted to get a stone for him in the family plot in Corona. The family had lived there and been such a part of the community for so many years. The stones are old and the cemetery is well-kept and peaceful. We thought it would be nice for him to have a marker where so much of his history lies. His stone is on the far left in front. My mom brought a bird of paradise flower from the garden, and Kathy cleaned the stone and took these photos. The headstones of Dad's parents are near his. In the photo below you can see his marker close up.

When it comes down to making a decision like this, it's hard to know what to say about your father in so few words. Kathy picked out the stone and sent Gary and me information and pictures online, then we all made the choices. It seems to have a look and feel that honors his memory, and we were all happy with that.

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Yellow river

This is just another of the endless patterns of light and color on the river. I filed the photo in a folder called "March" inside another folder called "2003," but I can't say what day it was, because the camera I was using had the dates set for 2001. In March 2001, I was still in Colorado. I know the month is right, but the day is anyone's guess. The car on the right is parked in the lot on the pier of Doc's on 12th Street.