Mrs Helen Todd

THE death has taken place of Mrs Helen Todd. She was 94.

Well known in Saintfield and Boardmills, Mrs Todd died peacefully on March 5 in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast after falling and suffering serious head injuries while making lunch for her devoted husband Jimmy four days earlier. She never regained consciousness.

Born in the Methodist Manse in Portadown on August 26, 1924, to the Rev Robert and Helena Gallagher, Mrs Todd was the youngest of five children. She boarded at Methodist College, played hockey for the first eleven and became head girl.

She then went to Queen’s University in 1942 to study Physics where she and Jimmy started a relationship that was to last for more than 75 years.

The couple married on October 26,1948, and set off for Kenya — a journey that took four days in a converted Lancaster bomber. 

They lived there for six years before returning to Boardmills where they shared the rest of their married life together.

Mrs Todd became an excellent cook — self taught — and maintained the highest standard of hospitality and entertaining. She was also an excellent seamstress.

Mrs Todd was the first librarian when Saintfield Library opened and got to know many families in the town. She particularly loved visits from local primary schools and kept an interest in the progress through life of many of the children she got to know.  

She also taught at Sullivan Upper School, Ashleigh House and Downpatrick Technical College for a time. She was president of Boardmills Women’s Institute on two occasions and forged many close friendships with people around the Boardmills area.

Mrs Todd was active in Methodist College Old Girls, Queen’s Women’s Graduates and, later, Ballynahinch Ladies Probus, playing her part as secretary, chair and president.

She was an excellent correspondent and embraced all new forms of communication, getting a mobile phone and going on an IT course with her husband Jimmy when computers became popular.

Mrs Todd also learnt quickly from her computer literate children and especially her grandchildren and their spouses on how to buy, correspond, bank and receive news online. Her iPad was always by her side and she even mastered Netflix with earphones connected to her iPad.

Mrs Todd is greatly missed by her husband, Jimmy, children, Martyn, Susan and Catherine, and her wider family circle and friends.