William “Big Bill” Henderson Tod
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William “Big Bill” Henderson Tod, age 75, of Manistee passed away on Tuesday February 5, 2019 at home with his family by his side.
Bill entered this world on January 14, 1944. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) where he majored in Economics and minored in Air Science. While attending OWU, he met the love of his life, Lynda on a blind date. It was absolute love at first sight and, despite all people saying they were too young and it would never work, the two were married for 54 years.
Bill was commissioned as an Equipment Management Officer in the U.S. Air Force and was honorably discharged as Captain, USAF in 1968. He retired from Bristol Meyers Squibb after 28 successful years as a pharmaceutical sales representative.
Bill's motto has always been "pay it forward," and he spent a large part of his adult life volunteering in service to others. For starters, he mentored six young men into successful careers through Big Brothers of America. He also served five years as a reserve police officer with the Saginaw Police Department in Saginaw, Michigan. He was a certified therapy dog handler, and he and his therapy dog Tara touched countless people's lives.
He served as past President of United Way Manistee County, volunteered his time as a Certified Senior Advisor at the Manistee County Senior Center, and was President of Hearts for Critters in Manistee County. Bill loved the water. He swam daily and was an avid sailor. He loved to laugh and play games, and his claim to fame was being the originator of bubble gum bowling.
He is predeceased by his daughter, Laura Dixon Tod.
Bill is survived by his wife, Lynda Tod of Manistee; 4 children, Scott George Tod of Indianapolis, IN, Elizabeth Henderson-Tod Kunc and Robert John Kunc of Grand Ledge and Steven William Tod of Kriens, Switzerland; 5 grandchildren, Caroline Rose Tod, Chloe Jane Tod, Aidan George Tod, Hannah Elisabeth Kunc and Haley Patricia Kunc.
Celebration of Life with Military Honors will be held May 4, 2019 at 1:30 PM at the Oak Grove Funeral Home in Manistee. In lieu of flowers, please honor Bill's spirit of "paying it forward" by making a memorial contribution to your favorite charity in his name.
Please feel free to share a memory or photo with Bill’s family at www.oakgrovefh.com. The family has entrusted funeral arrangements with Oak Grove Funeral Home & Cremation Center of Manistee.