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Hundreds Gather Friday to Remember Jeff Todd at Funeral Service

Friends, family and colleagues gathered at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Mount Vernon for the Friday morning service, followed by burial at Mount Comfort Cemetery in Alexandria.

Hundreds of mourners gathered Friday to say goodbye to Jeff Todd at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Mount Vernon.

Todd, the former chair of the Mt. Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce and owner of three area Roy Rogers restaurants, was a larger-than-life figure for many in Fairfax County. The 90-minute service, which began just after 11 a.m., was at times light-hearted, and celebrated a life that ended too soon.

The community was shocked to learn of Todd’s sudden death Sunday in a car accident on the way to a family beach vacation in Nags Head, North Carolina.

“Jeff’s life cut short is difficult to explain at this time,” said Father Luis Quinones, who presided over the service. “He was, to us, a man who reflected his love of God in the way he lived – loving and serving others.”

Judi Todd Darnell said her brother was an imperfect man who strived for perfection. “My brother loved you short or tall, big or small,” she said. Collecting golf balls was a quirky passion he had that “calmed his racing mind. He loved his golf balls… He had 9,243. If he had a bad day on the golf course, it was a good day if he came home with 25 golf balls he’d found in the woods.”

Just inside the church, mourners were quietly greeted with hugs, signed a guest book and viewed dozens of Todd family photos. Todd leaves behind a wife Becky and daughters Hannah and Kimberly, a sister, Judi, and a brother, Jim.

Members of the Mount Vernon High School Majors football team also attended the funeral, in their maroon jerseys, to honor the man who cheered them on in every way possible. 

The team’s coach, Barry Wells, considered Todd his best friend and named him an honorary coach. “When we met, we were kindred spirits,” he said, speaking before the congregation. “We both liked working with young people. We both loved sports and there wasn’t a patient bone in our bodies.”

Wells said Todd told him it was fate the two met, to “help fill the void” left by the passing last summer of Todd’s father, James “Jim” Todd.

Tim Sargeant is the chairman of the Mt. Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce. “Jeff always said ‘I’m just a burger guy.’ But we will never forget what Jeff did for the community,” he said in his remarks at the service. “He brought honor to the role of being a business leader.”

As the congregation sang “On Eagle’s Wings,” Todd’s widow, daughters and extended family followed pallbearers and the casket, draped in a funeral pall. As it was removed, Becky Todd kissed her hand, leaned forward and touched the casket.

Outside under cloudy skies, motorcycles from Fairfax County police lined up to escort the funeral procession to Mount Comfort Cemetery, where the Todds' father was laid to rest last summer.

The Todds’ Roy Rogers restaurants in Woodlawn, Belle View and Manchester Lakes were closed on Friday in observance of the funeral. The restaurants will reopen on Saturday.

“Dear Guests, It is with deep condolences that we announce to you the passing of Jeff Todd… We thank you in advance for your patience and continued support.” The note was signed: “The Todd Family”

Joe August 05, 2011 at 10:18 PM
I am deeply saddened by the passing of Jeff. My heart goes out to his wife Becky, his two daughters Kimberly and Hannah,and the rest of his family. Jeff was so many things to so many people. Losing him is a huge loss to our community. I am honered to have known him. I speak for myself and Im sure many others, when I say that Jeff inspired me to do more in my community. I was amazed by his good deeds and often wondered how he had time to help so many people, and then to hear about all of the other good things he had done, that I didn't even know about was just overwelming. The world needs more people like him. He was a breath of fresh air, and was taken too soon. You could be having the worst day ever, and with just a handshake and a smile ,he would make you feel better and make your problems seem small. Jeff's passing will not be in vain. It has inspired me to do more for people. It reminds me of something I heard once....A mother over heard her daughter praying one night .The daughter said "God why dont you send an angel down to take care of the sick,the poor and the homeless?" and God said " I did, I sent you" That reminds me of Jeff..He truly was an angel on Earth. God bless the Todd family...
Rachel Carter August 06, 2011 at 02:27 AM
This is very good account of the funeral. Jeff affected my life as he did so many others through the Chamber, through Church and in so many other ways. I will miss his hug and his "I love you" at Mass when my family walks through the door. My son was so excited to meet the man that served his favorite sandwich, the "Goldrush Chicken" and Jeff was thrilled to hear how he made a 10 year old happy and was quick with a free coupon. He always made you feel special, supported and like an instant friend. We bonded over losing parents. Losing his father cut him deeply and he didn't hesitate to share his feelings with me. We talked together about how we would look at his father's life and my mother's life as a way to inspire us for our own lives and to grapple with accepting God's will. Jeff's sister said it best today when she said that there is no way that we can fill Jeff's shoes, but must fill our own shoes. That's what he would have wanted. And if all of us could do one tenth of what he did, how much better would our community be? The wisdom, faith and optimism that flows through the Todd family is remarkable and I pray that those admirable attributes sustain them through this difficult time. We all reach out to you now as you have supported us all these years.
Patrick Skovran August 06, 2011 at 06:46 PM
As a former employee of the Belleview Roy Rogers, I am deeply saddened by Jeffs' passing, as well as his fathers passing which I only recently found out about. My thoughts, and prayers, go to the Todd family at this time of deep sorrow.
Michael Montante August 07, 2011 at 12:12 AM
Jeff said he was just a burger guy. Well then, the world needs more burger guys who live their life like Jeff did. A Great Citizen, a GOOD man, and a loving Dad. God Bless.
Tim Rizer August 11, 2011 at 03:06 PM
Though I did not know Jeff well, I have know a few people like him and that is the problem; There are not enough people like him! Thank you Jeff for your efforts!
Debbie Fairbanks August 27, 2011 at 10:42 PM
Jeff loved it when my nine year old son said, Roy Rogers has the best french fries in the world. Debbie and Stanhope Fairbanks
Mark October 01, 2011 at 06:19 AM
I have frequented the Woodlawn Roy Rogers alot over the years. I ate their with my wife in July and Jeff Todd was there that day. He could have gotten a low level employee to wash the windows of the building, but he was doing it himself. One could see he took pride in his establishment and was a hands-on owner who seemed a regular guy and probably saw himself that way. I was saddened when I saw the sign at the door of the restaraunt announcing Jeff's passing. God bless his family during this tragic time.
Enoch June 17, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Don't know the man ... I wish I did. I remember being treated so warmly by the manager at the Manchester Lakes Roys ... can't help to think this was a reflection of the owner and what he expected.

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