May 4, 1931 – March 20, 2022
Charlotte, NC – On March 20, 2022, Eugene Simpson Todd moved on to his next trip.
A 6th generation Charlotte native, Eugene was born in Charlotte on May 4, 1931, the youngest of six children. Along with all of his siblings, he was predeceased by his father, Cecil Van Buren Todd and his mother Stella Alexander Todd. Growing up in Charlotte, Eugene graduated from Harding High School in 1949 and went to Clemson College on a football scholarship after being elected to the NC All State football team and the Shrine Bowl team. He graduated from Clemson in 1954, majoring in science education and completing the Army’s ROTC.
Since he was 30 days away from entering active duty and reporting to Ft. Lee, VA for training, he applied to substitute teach in Charlotte city schools. He was assigned to teach at Central High School. At the end of the day’s classes, he was at the professor’s office, trying to recap the day when… there was a knock on the open door. And, there she was. Biology teacher Anne Hall had come to offer her help to the new substitute teacher and she has been helping him for 67 years of marriage. They were married on June 25, 1955, at First Methodist Church in downtown Charlotte.
After attaining the rank of first lieutenant and being honorably discharged, in 1956 Eugene took a job at schools in Rockingham City, teaching math, science, and coaching students in grades 8 through 10 in all three sports. majors. In Rockingham, North Carolina, her daughter Susan was born. After 2 years in Rockingham, they moved back to Charlotte. Spending three summers in Chapel Hill, Eugene and Anne earned their Masters of Education in 1959.
After teaching at Spaugh Jr High and Harding HS, coaching football, and teaching math, physics, and chemistry (including a part-time job as a coach and athletic director of what is now UNCC), his second child, Eric Todd, was born in 1960. It was time for him to stop “playing” and get a real job. He applied to be an elementary school principal and was appointed to Steel Creek Elementary School. After being an educator and director of five schools for 26 years, he retired.
One of the things he is most proud of in his career is the role he played in desegregating the schools in this district. Eugene was assigned to Cornelius Elementary School in 1966, the year the Mecklenburg County School Board decided to create a unitary system. It was a just cause for him and he felt it was a great opportunity to begin to right a great wrong that some of his ancestors had been associated with. He served there for four years and is happy to say that the school was integrated without too much difficulty. It was a challenge and a rewarding experience.
During his years in teaching, he was active in a fraternity of professional educators Phi Delta Kappa. Eugene was president for two terms. He also earned an advanced certification in supervision and program development. from Appalachian State University.
After their retirement in 1983, Eugene and Anne traveled extensively. They spent three summers in Europe, Canada and all over the United States. He and Anne spent many years tracing the family’s history and traveled to the hometowns of their ancestors to collect documents and publications for research. They were members of Myers Park Baptist for many years, then moved to the Unitarian Universalist community in Charlotte. Eugene was an avid gardener, bird watcher, Christian theology reader, and loved a well-matched football game on television.
With mixed emotions, they moved into the retirement community of Matthews Glen in 2005. After a while, Eugene told his friends that this place looked like Pre-Heaven! Thank you to everyone at Matthews Glen who helped the family during this time.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife Anne Hall Todd of Matthews, his daughter Susan Todd Hunter of Raleigh, North Carolina, his son Eric Winston Alexander Todd of Charlotte and 4 grandchildren: Diana Hunter, Anne Hunter, Sam Todd and Sarah Todd. Eugene will be laid to rest at Paw Creek Presbyterian Church Cemetery with his parents in a private service. A celebration of life will be held at Matthews Glen Community on Saturday, April 30 at 11:00 a.m.
Published by Charlotte Observer on April 3, 2022.