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Obituary: Sally Lou Todd ’62

Sally Lou Todd, 72, a long-time local political activist, died Nov. 5, 2010, of complications from lung cancer. She had lived in Minneapolis for fifty years mostly in the Prospect Park neighborhood. She was administrative secretary of the Minnesota Council on Religion and Race in the 1960s. Later she was legislative chairperson for Minnesota Common Cause.

Sally did doctoral work in American Studies at the University of Minnesota and taught courses in history, English and rhetoric there. She had traveled extensively in Europe, often as a group tour leader. One trip was devoted to meeting with Holocaust survivors and German educators to explore what could be done in Germany to assist the survivors. Sally also developed close friends in Denmark and met Mother Teresa on a long visit to India.

Sally Lou Todd was deeply involved in political life and the Democratic Farmer Labor party. She was actively involved in the civil rights movement and marched in Selma, Alabama with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sally was one of the earliest and most vocal supporters of the successful candidacy of Senator Paul Wellstone in 1980. She managed the campaign of Phyllis Kahn, a long- standing member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, on multiple occasions. Sally read widely on American political life, and was a walking encyclopedia on 20th century public figures and events.

For many years Sally was involved in numerous Internet groups comprised of people from various professions across the nation. In these groups she shared her vast knowledge of politics, history, and many other topics based on her travels, her experiences, her research, and her huge library. She was an avid reader, encouraged others to read widely, and willingly passed on the knowledge she had acquired.

Over the years Sally contributed in many ways to the local community and its most needy members. She organized a protest against shutting off heat in winter for unpaid bills, and this respite became a state law. She was a melanoma cancer survivor and offered cancer patients free stays in her apartments. She prepared gourmet dishes for a meals program for AIDS patients and worked at the Care and Share Shelf. She volunteered for three years at Unity Settlement House in North Minneapolis helping teenagers deal with community issues affecting their lives.

Sally Lou Todd was born in Akron, Ohio. She grew up there and in Dayton, Ohio. A 1962 graduate of Antioch College, Sally worked with other alumni in recent years to help reopen the College which will happen in 2011.