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Todds celebrate 75th anniversary

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Pat and Charles Todd, Jr., celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary on April 27th in Springfield, Missouri. Charles was born in Todd Hollow, on the Cannon County farm of his grandparents, Jim and Jennie (St. John) Todd, near the Hills Creek home of his maternal grandparents, William Thomas and Sallie St. John.

In 1936, young Charles left Woodbury for Army training at Fort McPherson, Georgia. He was then sent to Schofield Barracks on the island of Oahu, Territory of Hawaii. There he met his future wife, Pat O'Shaughnessy, when he took some film for processing at the photo studio where she worked. Pat grew up at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, the daughter of artilleryman M/Sgt. John O'Shaughnessy, also stationed at Schofield Barracks. The couple married in Wahiawa, Oahu, and returned to the states in 1940. Charles had a long Army career, serving with the post-World War II occupation forces in Germany, in the Korean War, and in the Cold War period of the late 1950s, both in Japan and France. With their two daughters, Terry and Sandy, Pat and Charles traveled to and lived in many countries.

In April 1976, at the inspiration of daughter Sandy, and on the occasion of their 36th wedding anniversary, Charles brought Pat and his daughters to Woodbury to meet his Woodbury friends and relatives and re-discover his boyhood home. On April 25th, a beautiful spring day, cousin, Charles Barrett, and his wife, Alvena, hosted a reunion party for the Todds at the Woodbury Lions Club. In the days that followed there was much touring about the town and the Hollow to see the old farm and other remembered sites, and to visit with Todds, Barretts, Bowens, Bratchers, St. Johns, and other family members. They even took a side-trip to visit Charles' aunt Ruby (Todd) Pitts and her large family in Vermilion, Illinois.

Charles tells the story of an "unscheduled" leave he took from duty at Fort McPherson in 1936. He came back to Woodbury for several days to visit with friends and family. His absence was even documented by a photograph with those friends. A stern lecture about being AWOL awaited him on his return to McPherson, along with a month of KP duty.

Charles received a commission as an officer toward the end of World War II after attending Officer Candidate School in Fort Benning, Georgia. When Germany was partitioned by the Allies following the surrender in 1945, Charles served there in the U.S. Army's Constabulary, policing the early postwar occupation and rehabilitation of Germany. Pat and the little girls joined him in the war-torn country, the first of many years of changing assignments.

Charles has recently corresponded and talked on the phone with his boyhood friend, Bill Brevard Smith, who shared classrooms with him at Elkins School and Woodbury High School. Charles has also been in touch with cousin, L. Edward St. John of Morrison, a family history expert who attended the reunion in 1976 and helps fill in the genealogical leaves of the family tree.

On the occasion of their latest wedding anniversary, Pat and Charles fondly recalled their April 1976 return to family and friends in Woodbury.

Submitted by Terry Ellen (Todd) Ferl, Saint Louis

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May 21, 2015 at 11:06am
Excellent story!
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