If you're too young to know who I'm talking about, that's "Lurch" from the old television show "The Addams Family". This series of posts is meant to show you that nothing could be further from the truth. Your friendly neighborhood funeral director is just someone like you! He or she has hobbies, interests, and abilities that don't include death care. Here are 10 facts you might not know about the Licensed Funeral Director, and Embalmer at our Chandler location, Todd Allen. I know him pretty well, being his wife, so these are the real facts!
1. Todd comes from a large family of 9 children, 4 boys, and 5 girls. All of his siblings are now married, and all but two of them live here in the valley of the sun. In the last family picture we took, there were 45 grandchildren, and still counting! Now that's a Legacy to be proud of!
Todd with his parents, Bob and Sue and siblings:
The whole Allen Clan:
2. Being a Funeral Director wasn't Todd's first choice of profession. You can say that we happened upon the Funeral profession by chance, I like to think it was meant to be. In high school, Todd worked for Randy Bunker, a friend of the family, in the mortuary business for a short time. While he loved that work, his first choice of a profession was in the medical field. Todd's father and two of his brothers are doctors. That was what Todd wanted to be. It was after failing chemistry a few times, and realizing that medical school would require 30+ more chemistry credits that Todd started to realize he needed to change his plan. He changed his major to Business and Accounting, and was admitted into the Arizona State University College of Business in 1995. In 1997, when he had finished his Business degree, Mesa Community College announced that it would be piloting a new Mortuary Science Associates Degree program. Todd jumped on the opportunity, and was part of the first graduating class! Yes, he did get his degrees in reverse order, but we think that his business degree was essential in helping him start and operate funeral homes successfully. It all worked out with over 15 years in the business, and over 3,000 families served so far.
Here is Todd with his parents on Graduation day:
3. Todd was a football legend (in his own mind) in high school. Actually, if you talk to those he played with, he really was someone to be reckoned with! Todd played football right here in the valley at Mesa Mountain View High School where he graduated in 1990. Todd was a starting full back on offense, and linebacker on defense. I can't tell you how many times we have run into people who have said, "I've never been hit as hard as I was by Todd Allen." At the end of Todd's senior year, he had the most rushing yards in the state until a game where he was injured. Todd's dad, the team physician, checked him out, and asked him if he was okay, and he could go back into the game. Todd went back in and played the remainder of the game, but afterward, was in so much pain they went to the emergency room. It turned out, he had played the entire second half of the game with a broken jaw! Now that's one tough guy!
4. Todd loves 80's and 90's era rock music. His favorite time to listen to the radio is at 10 p.m. on 93.3 FM, when they play "Mandatory Metallica". He also loves to listen to Sirius Radio's, "Hair Nation". His favorite band of all time is Guns & Roses. Last Christmas, we got to go see them in concert for the first time. It was a night to remember...just picture Todd banging his head through the entire concert! Here we are leaving for the concert: Can you tell we were excited?
5. Todd's favorite thing to do is spend time with his family. He has been married to me (Tami), for almost 20 years now, and we have 6 beautiful children ranging in age from 4 all the way up to 17! Our oldest, will be a senior next year, and the youngest will be in Kindergarten! Here is one of our wedding pics, and the whole family: Front row (left to right)--Ashlie, Todd, Jack, Tami, Josh Back Row (left to right) Abby, Erin, Emie.
6. Todd's favorite vacations include WATER. He loves the ocean, and can spend all day out body surfing. He also loves water sports like wake boarding, and water skiing. Some of our favorite memories have been made in Oceanside, California, or at Lake Powell. These are our favorite vacation spots in the world.
7. Todd loves making funny faces in pictures. Sometimes it's hard to get a serious picture of him, and sometimes it's next to impossible. These are some of my favorites:
Those ones almost got him strangled! LOL!
8. When he was 19, Todd went for two years on a mission for his church to Japan in 1990, and is fluent in Japanese. This skill doesn't seem to come in very handy in Arizona...but is fun to talk about nonetheless. Sometimes he manages to find someone Japanese to talk to when we go out for one of our favorite meals, sushi. Here is Todd with his dad after returning home from his mission in 1992:
9. Todd loves hunting! Growing up, Todd's parents had a cabin in the Utah mountains, and one of the boys favorite past times was hunting. As he has gotten older, some of these hunts with his brothers, and now with his sons, are some of the greatest memories of his life. Here are Todd and his brothers on an elk hunt in Colorado:
10. Todd is a die hard, true blue (well, maroon and gold), dyed in the wool, ASU Sun Devil Fan! We love to go to ASU football games, and cheer on our home team! Here's Todd after one of the games getting our baby, Jack, autographs from the players...and who else? The cheerleaders! Go Devils!
And there you have it! Keep checking back, we will be featuring our other Funeral Directors in future posts, as well as our office staff here at Legacy Funeral Home. You might learn something you didn't know about them as well!