Mr. Gordon Todd was born on March 3, 1935. In 1953 after graduating from high school he enlisted in the Air Force where he served for 8 ½ years followed by the Army where he served for 9 ½ years. During this time he did 4 tours in Vietnam. After retiring as Major Gordon Todd in 1971 he taught school and received his certificate in administration. From 1[phone redacted] Gordon was the Athletic Director for Atchison High School in Atchison, Kansas. At the beginning of 2013, Gordon moved into Meadowlark Estates Retirement Community in Lawrence, Kansas. At the time Gordon used a walker to get around.
Meadowlark is where Gordon and I met. I was the Activity Coordinator. Gordon and I had an immediate connection. Having a family full of athletes I talked at length with Gordon about sports. He soon met my family and began attending my children’s games and other extracurricular activities. Over the next year, Gordon began using a motorized wheelchair to get around. That didn’t stop him though. He would drive his wheelchair down to the local high school to watch my son Fred’s football games and my daughter Ariel’s basketball games and theater productions. He was part of our extended family. Gordon was elated when Fred accepted a full-scholarship to play football at Northwestern University and he hoped to one day be able to see him play college football.
Gordon’s health has continued to deteriorate. After numerous doctor’s appointments, tests, scans, and so much more, Gordon was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease as a direct result of being exposed to Agent Orange while serving in our military. In 2015 Gordon had to move to an assisted living community that could better suit his needs. Also in 2015 my family and I moved to another state. This was a tough time for all of us, but Gordon knew our bond was strong. Over the last 2 years I continue to travel back to Kansas on a regular basis to spend time with Gordon.
With his mobility continuing to decline, I want to fullfill a dream of Gordon’s, to see Fred play in one college football game before he is no longer able to. This fall I would like to take Gordon to see the Northwestern homecoming game on Saturday, October 9th. Expenses to be covered are for the rental of a handicap accessible van, gas to/from Kansas City and Evanston, hotel for 2 nights, meals, and for a licensed caregiver to travel with me to help with Gordon’s care.
At the age of 82, I don’t know what the future holds for Gordon. For his service to our country and the dedication to others, please help me fulfill this dream of his!
Thank you for your support,
- Jim Wyatt
- John & Liz Fickel
- KyAnne Hall
- Tracy Fippinger
- John Fickel
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