Gayle Todd, 83, humanist, educator and humorist, died Wednesday, December 9 at St. Joseph Hospital in Bryan.
Born and raised in Telephone, Texas, Gayle Todd was the son of Evert and Easter Todd. The young Gayle met the love of his life, Joyce, while pursuing his teaching career at Sam Houston State. Joyce and Gayle were married on May 25, 1951. They settled in Bryan where they raised a family and taught school for many years. Gayle taught biology and vocational education, influencing and encouraging many a student at SFA and Bryan High. He earned his MS in Industrial Education. Gayle had a deep belief in the dignity of work; as director of Vocational Education at Bryan ISD, he established the LVN program at Bryan High and was the first to create a PC computer class there. He taught Vocational Ed classes at A&M and became a BHS administrator and eventually went to work for the Private Industry Council where he developed adult vocational training; he finished his career at Brazos Transit District. After retirement from public service, Gayle and Joyce owned and ran The Brazos Trader antique store in downtown Bryan until 2005.
Gayle Todd, or “Flash” as his grandchildren know him, was admired for his wit, respected for his fairness and intellect, and loved for his warmth and sense of humor. A gifted wordsmith, Gayle was a master storyteller, avid reader, public speaker and gifted writer. He enjoyed nature and the outdoors; classic Country Western music; the Cowboys and the Astros; cattle raising; gardening; a good game of dominos, darts, washers, or horseshoes; and trips to the Brazos River with Joyce and his dog Red. His love of Bryan is epitomized in his response years ago to the suggestion that he travel to England. He declined, stating, “I don’t think so; I haven’t seen all of the Brazos Valley yet.” He did eventually enjoy touring Europe and traveling the US; Gayle was always ready for adventure.
In lieu of a memorial service, the Todd family will take an adventurous road trip to scatter Gayle’s ashes at Telephone, in the North Texas farmlands where it all began for Flash. Memorial donations in Gayle Todd’s name may be made to the various programs of Brazos Valley Community Action Agency at bvcaa.org.
Gayle leaves his wife of 64 years, Joyce Loraine Cline Todd; his brother TJ Todd; his daughter Toni Todd Arrington and partner Franklin Monroe; his daughter Susan Gayle Todd and husband Prentiss Riddle; his son Eric Vaughn Todd and wife Hazel Lorayne Todd. He is also survived by his grandchildren Zachary Todd Baker and wife Sarah Jacqueline Baker; Zane Thomas Baker; Hollie Gayle Baker and husband Kevin Lane Anderson; Baylee B. Arrington and partner Violet Rodriguez; Will Patrick Arrington; Andrei Christian Todd; Evaughn Reyn Todd; his great-granddaughter Olivia Susan Baker; and his sister, JoAnne Judice.
The family would like to thank these people: Ume Haney Kakwan, Fatty Smith, Delia Ochoa, Victor Trussell, and Natalie McClean.