Tod Houghtlin

From Tod’s wife, Helen Burton

An e-mail the morning after Tod died:
Tod passed away at about 1:30 am today, I was sleeping in a chair bed next to him and
last spoke with him at about 12. Earlier in the evening he was relaxed, said he was not
afraid as he knew “Mary, the Mother of God and the Lamb of God” were with him. He
wanted to listen to the last part of Bach’s St John’s Passion which we did. Vannesa and
Elodie arrived and had a nice visit with him which he so enjoyed. He was peaceful and
ready so he let go.
God rest his sweet soul.

From Vannesa Houghtlin, Tod’s daughter:

In the wee hours this past Saturday morning, my dear Dad died. Elodie and I had just
spent some sweet and beautiful time with him, and Sylvie, Daven, Walt, my brother and
others had recently checked in with him on the phone. My wonderful stepmother Helen
slept nearby when he died.

My Dad was a wonder of kindness, gentleness, intelligence, wit, wisdom, joy and
enormous love. We are heartbroken, and also filled with love for him and gratitude for the
extraordinary blessing of having loved and been loved by him. Not only will he always be
in my heart, but he will actually always be part of the very structure of my heart, knitted in
tightly, as he was a central force in the creation of it.

This is a picture of my Dad with my newborn son, thirteen years ago. One of the ways Dad
loved was with his hands, and I see him doing it here. I will print this for Daven, to remind
him of Pop-Pop’s strong and tender love.

When talking about mortality, Dad would often say “we need to make room for the new
people coming in.” As Elodie and I left the hospital after saying goodbye, we passed a
mother in labor on her way in, with the telltale breath and look in her eyes. I like to think
her little one and my Dad passed each other on the rainbow bridge, and that he gave that
baby a blessing.