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”

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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