Barbara Todd

Barbara Lee Todd

1949 - 2024

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Obituary of Barbara Lee Todd

Barbara Lee Todd 75 passed away at University of Iowa Hospitals on April 29, 2024 from complications related to stage 4 colon cancer. 

Barbara was born at University of Iowa Hospitals on March 17, 1949 to Evelyn Faye Todd (Howe) and Gene Hunter Todd.  Barbara grew up in Springdale, Iowa graduating from West Branch High School in 1967. At the age of 14, Barbara was diagnosed with diabetes (T1-D) and, from that moment on, her life was forever changed. Barbara managed her disease during a time when technology was not what it is today. Barbara far outlived the expected lifespan for someone with her disease. By the year 2011, it was determined Barbara needed a renal transplant and she was given that opportunity in 2020, receiving that transplant. Barbara was forever grateful to the young man who donated his kidney and often spoke of her dedication to "keeping that kidney strong for him." Barbara was married several times as her health required that someone be with her, especially at night, should her blood glucose fall to dangerous levels.

Barbara earned her B.A. in English at the University of Northern Iowa. She earned her M.A. in Linguistics with a TESOL emphasis from the University of Iowa, and her Ph.D in Applied Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. Barbara taught young adult English language learners at Nagoya International College (Japan) and Bentley College (Boston). Barbara trained university students to teach English language learners at Kinjogakuin University (Nagoya, Japan), the University of Alabama, and the University of Kentucky.  Her last position was closest to her heart: teaching English language learners at Ottumwa High School in Ottumwa, Iowa.  There, she helped both student learners, and often, would assist their family members in learning English. Barbara published  articles in peer-reviewed journals, presented at professional conferences, served on the editorial board of TESL-EJ, and co-authroed a textbook for English language learners. Barbara inspired many students and fellow teachers in her areas of expertise.

As mentioned, Barbara grew up in a little town called Springdale. In honor of her childhood, Barbara published a little known book in the late 70s called Springdale Papers. In this compilation of stories, she described what growing up in small town Iowa was like, from interactions with neighbors, to counting everyone's pets in the unofficial town census as she was such a animal lover and had a number of pets that was included in the census count! At her core, Barbara was kind, intelligent, and loving toward all she encountered.  She would often invite her students to family gatherings and soon, they became members of her family too. She was a friend who kept in touch with those she loved, both near and far.  Most of all, she was a daughter, wife, sister, cousin and friend who was dearly loved.

Barbara’s family includes siblings, Jerri Wolfe, Susan Todd and Anthony Todd; former husbands, Bradford Kennedy, Joseph Souza and Lyle Murray; and her puppies, Winnie and Major.  She was preceded in death by her father, Gene Todd; mother, Evelyn Hayslett, step-father, Warren Hayslett and former husbands, Ernest Schultz and Steven Johnson and a son at birth.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff (Nicki and Liz) at Compassus (Hospice) who came to our home and, eventually to Crestview, to assist with managing Barbara's end of life care.  Also, thank you, to the staff at University of Iowa Hospitals who cared for Barbara during her final days. 

In lieu of services, Barbara has requested a graveside service with family.