Colonel Walter Blakely Todd

  • Born: March 15, 1918
  • Died: December 27, 2012
  • Location: Columbia, South Carolina

Dunbar Funerals and Cremations

3926 Devine Street
Columbia, SC 29205
Tel. (803) 771-7990

Tribute & Message From The Family

COLUMBIA - Colonel Walter Blakely Todd, U.S. Army (Ret.) died on December 27, 2012. The family will receive friends at Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, on Wednesday, January 2, 2013, at 5:00 until 7:00 PM. Funeral services will be held at Providence ARP Church on North Broad Street in Clinton, South Carolina, on Thursday, January 3, 2013, at 1:00 PM followed by a graveside service at Rosemont Cemetery, in Clinton, SC, with full military honors.
Walter Todd was born in Clinton, South Carolina, on March 15, 1918. He was the son of the late Joseph Reed Todd and Lucy Bell Sloan Todd. He was a 1939 graduate of Presbyterian College where he lettered in football and was a member of Mu Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He was honored by the fraternity for his service to country and state in a ceremony at the college in 2008, and at his death, he was the oldest living member of the Chapter.
He was commissioned as an officer in the Army through ROTC at PC, and entered the Army in 1940 as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry. In 1941, he was selected through competitive examination for the Regular Army. What followed was a long, eventful and distinguished career as a professional soldier. On June 6, 1944, he was with the first wave troops in the Normandy Invasion, landing on UTAH Beach with the Eighth Infantry Regiment of the Fourth Infantry Division. He was with the Regiment until the surrender of Nazi Germany, participating in the bitterest fighting in that part of the European theatre, including the liberation of Cherbourg, the Saint Lo breakthrough, the liberation of Paris, the Hurtgen Forest and the Battle of the Bulge. When the Korean War began, Major Todd was in General Douglas McArthur's Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, where he served for the first year of the war. In 1967-1968, Colonel Todd served in Vietnam where he was Army Combat Operations Advisor to the South Vietnamese Army in the Four Northern Provinces of the Mekong Delta. He was there during the Tet Offensive, a time of heavy fighting and intense enemy pressure throughout the country. In peacetime service, he graduated from a number of service schools, including the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. In the early sixties, he was Deputy Director of Instruction at the U.S. Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and commanded a battle group in the Second Infantry Division at the Fort. He saw peacetime service overseas in Japan, Turkey and Korea. His last duty assignment prior to retirement in 1969 was as Chief of Staff at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Over his career, Colonel Todd received numerous awards for gallantry and meritorious service including the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit with three Oak Leaf clusters, the Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the European Theater Medal with five campaign stars, the Korean Service Medal, the Viet Nam Service Medal with four campaign stars, and the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters. He was an early inductee in the Presbyterian College ROTC Hall of Fame.
After retirement from the Army, Colonel Todd accepted a position with the newly established State of South Carolina Department of Mental Retardation as its first Director of Administration where in that capacity and as Deputy Commissioner, he served for 14 years overseeing the rapid growth of the Department. Upon his retirement from State government in 1983, he was awarded the Order of the Palmetto by Governor Richard Riley for his service to the State. Beginning in 1983, Colonel Todd became active with Midlands Technical College, serving first for the college as a Richland County Commissioner, and in 1985, as Commission Chairman. He served a second term as Chairman in 1993-1994. He also served as Chairman of the Richland-Lexington Counties Commission for Technical Education, and two terms as State Chairman of the Association of Community College Trustees. Colonel Todd was a member of the Columbia Sertoma Club, a deacon and elder in Centennial AR Presbyterian Church of Columbia, and was, at his death, a member of First Presbyterian Church of Columbia where he served on the Board of Directors of Laurel Crest, the First Presbyterian Church Retirement Center from its planning stages through the groundbreaking and construction in 1993.
Above all else, Colonel Todd was devoted to his family. He was predeceased by his brother, J. Sloan Todd; three sisters, Martha Reed Todd Workman, Mary Todd Eargle and Elizabeth Todd Bolick; and by his loving wife of sixty-five years, Rosemary Alexander Todd. He is survived by his children: Walter Blakely Todd, Jr. and wife, Susan Echols Todd, of Columbia, Matilda Todd Balsley and husband, Jacob Benjamin Balsley, III, of Reidsville, North Carolina; and his four grandchildren: Sloan Todd Cooper and husband, John Roy Cooper, Walter Blakely Todd, III and wife, Katherine Nelson Todd, Jacob Benjamin Balsley, IV and wife, Sarah Lindsay Balsley, and Alexander Todd Balsley and wife, Heather Keeney Balsley, and eight great-grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to the Walter B. and Rosemary A. Todd Scholarship Fund at Presbyterian College, 503 S. Broad Street, Clinton, South Carolina 29325-2865, or to the Laurel Crest Endowment Fund, 100 Joseph Walker Drive, West Columbia, South Carolina 29169.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Dear Family and friends,

My heart is saddened to hear of Colonel Todd, but know that he made
heaven a brighter place.

I will never forget Colonel Todd, I served under his command in
Vietnam, 1967, A great Senior Advisor, with MACV Advisoty Team 75.

I have a personel Letter of commandation that Col. Todd, written
prior to my departure form Vietnam, Dated September 27, 1967.

I read it often and keep the words dear to my heart.

A friend always,

Douglas GG Whitley

Posted by Douglas G. Whitley - Monroe, N.C., NC - Friend   March 26, 2013

Your dad was a special person. Always took time to visit when he came to see Walt. A life lived well.

Posted by Cleve Jacobs - Taladega, AL   December 31, 2012

Blessings to all of the Walter B Todd family. I had the great pleasure of knowing him while he lived at Laurel Crest. He was a gentleman, I loved going into the main dining room each night and seeing him before I left each day. He would always give me a kiss on my cheek. My prayers are with all of you.

Posted by Mary Y Bryan - Lexington, SC - Friend   December 31, 2012

Our memories of Mr. Todd are from our times together at Laurel Crest - he was a quiet, faithful brother in our Bible Study class. He had the apprecaition of all of us.

May the presence of the Lord Jesus be your experience in fullness during these days of sorrow.

Bob and Betty Yount

Posted by Bob and Betty Yount - Chapin, SC - Friends   December 31, 2012

Walt and the Todd family, my sincere condolances. What a great and rewarding life he had serving his country, state and community with such devotion and distinction. Few can match his many accomplishments. I do recall being at The PiKA House when the Colonel was honored in 2008. And what an honor for us to be his Brothers.

Posted by Cleve Dobbins - Tallahassee, FL   December 30, 2012

Tilda & Walt,
Your Dad was truly a magnificent human being who was an inspiration to all who knew him. A consumate miltary professional, he set an example that was with me throughout my Marine Corps career. I have always been proud to have "Todd" as my middle name. Your dad was also remembered by one of his young lieutenants from Ft Benning who rose to the rank of Lieutenant General and led the Army ground forces in Operation Desert Storm...John Yeosock...whom I met after I retired. He had only high praise for the Commander who led by example and mentored his junior officers.
Randi, Ragan & I want you to know that you and your families are in our thoughts in prayers. There is a joyous Todd reunion in heaven and for that we can be sincerely grateful!!

Posted by Reed Todd Bolick - Fredericksburg, VA - Nephew   December 30, 2012

Col. Todd was an absolute gentleman and I am honored to have spent the few times I had the pleasure of being with him. To Walt and Tilda and families, you are in my prayers.

Posted by CHARLES ROWLAND - Walterboro, SC - friend of Walt, Jr., and Tilda   December 30, 2012

Walter served his family, church, and country with distinction, pride and love. He was a loyal Blue Hose. We thank God for the gift of him to so many. Nancy and john Griffith

Posted by John Griffith - Clinton, SC - Friend   December 30, 2012

God Bless Uncle Walter and his family. Walter is now with all of his brother abd sisters. What a reward for a life well spent!

Posted by Harry and Sheila Bolick - Greenville, SC - nephew   December 30, 2012

Such a handsome picture of Uncle Walter!! Know that I am thinking of each family member but especially Walter Jr and Tilda. I know how hard it is to lose a parent and when it's the last one it IS sad!! You both took such wonderful care of him, loving and visiting him all his life! He always beamed when your names were mentioned. He was so very proud of you both! I was sadden on Dec 27 to get the call that he had passed. It was also Lori's birthday and we were just 30 mins away from leaving Clinton to come and visit Uncle Walter. Carolyn, Lori and I were so excited about seeing him again. God had other plans. Know that I am praying for you and celebrating with Uncle Walter as I KNOW he is in Heaven with his Lord and Savior, his sweet Rosemary and his family. God Bless You all. Love you, Jenny

Posted by Jenny Todd Hardin - Clinton, SC - niece   December 29, 2012

The staff of Dunbar Funeral Home extends sincere condolences to the family of Colonel Walter Blakely Todd.

Posted by Jerry Deese    December 29, 2012