Son says mother was quiet yet outgoing

Thursday, May 17, 2012 | 10:17 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA – Ethel L. Todd loved animals, gardening and caring for her family. 

"She was always good about doing things for us kids," said Mrs. Todd's daughter, Mary Stuart. She remembered playing board games and doing puzzles with her mother. Stuart also recalled Mrs. Todd's "old-fashioned remedies" when she or her siblings were sick.

"She would put a hot cloth on your stomach if you had a stomach ache," Stuart said.

Ethel L. Todd of Marceline died Tuesday, May 15, 2012. She was 79.

She was born Sept. 9, 1932, in Hartsburg to Paul Herman and Frona (Wells) Sims.

Her family moved to Columbia when she was young, and she graduated from Hickman High School in 1950. Not long after, she met the Rev. Joseph Todd. Both were working in Columbia — Ethel at a cafe and Joseph at The Tiger Hotel, said Mrs. Todd's son, David Todd.

The couple married on Aug. 1, 1952.

Stuart also remembers how supportive Mrs. Todd was to her husband. The Rev. Todd, who served as reverend for several Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregations in Missouri, often was called to complete pastoral duties in the middle of the night. Mrs. Todd would make him coffee and help get his clothes together so he could see to sick parishioners, Stuart said.

“Being a pastor’s wife speaks for itself,” David Todd said.

He said his mother was both “quiet but outgoing,” because she was a part of the community and focused on outreach. Some of her work in the community involved supporting charities for the majority of her life.

Stuart said her mother donated to more than 10 charities, including Habitat for Humanity and The Humane Society. 

She was a people person, not aggressive or outspoken, but she could relate to people, Todd said.

“Some people say things in a few words,” Todd said, and his mother was one of those people.

She is survived by her son, David Todd and his wife, Susan, of Perry; three daughters, Deborah Roberts and her husband, Michael, of Branson, Susan Mansell and her husband, Ronald, of Odessa, and Mary Stuart and her husband, Matthew, of Queen City; a brother, Harold Sims and his wife, Fern, of Columbia; a sister, Linda Kay Hankins and her husband, Dan, of Kansas City; 12 grandchildren, Timothy Roberts, Gary Mansell and Joseph Mansell, all of Odessa, Amy Stuart and Tommy Stuart of Queen City, Michael Joe Roberts and his wife, Lorri, of Rolla, Jonathan Roberts of Branson, Joanna Todd, Joe Ben Todd and Jesse Todd, all of Perry, Linda Eisenlohr and her husband, Joseph, of Raytown, John David Todd and his wife, Kristi, of Grimes, Iowa; and five great-grandchildren.

Her husband, the Rev. Joseph Todd, and two brothers, Paul Sims Jr. and Benjamin Sims, died earlier.

Visitation will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday at the First Christian Church, 101 N. Tenth St.
 in Columbia. Services will follow at the same location. Burial will take place after the service at Columbia Cemetery, 30 E. Broadway.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH Neurological Institute, P.O. Box 5801, Bethesda, MD 20824.

Tributes can be posted at

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