Danvers — Todd M. Gandolfo, 44, of Danvers, passed away peacefully on Sunday in the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers, surrounded by his loving family and friends. He was the cherished son of Judith I. (Coombs) Gandolfo of Peabody and the late Matthew T. Gandolfo. Todd was born in Lynn, and raised in Salem. He was a senior at Salem High School in the vocational automotive program, and had been accepted into the Air Force when an unfortunate accident in gym class left him with a brain injury, confined to a wheelchair, and unable to speak. Along with his inspirational, supportive family, Todd had been on a 27-year journey that had touched many lives, even bringing him to the Brown School in Austin, Texas, for a year of rehabilitation. He resided in Danvers for many years, at Radius Healthcare for 15 years, and most recently, at his group home at Northeast Regional Services.
Prior to his accident, Todd had worked at Bob’s Fried Clams, Puleos Ice Cream and had worked construction for Hincman Enterprises. He also enjoyed lobstering with his brother. He loved the outdoors and enjoyed spending time in Maine camping, skiing, boating, water-skiing, snowmobiling, and four-wheeling.
In 2009, Todd and his family held a fundraiser to help support the “EagleEyes” program, which was equipment founded by a student at Boston College to help those with head injuries to communicate. This program was influenced by Maureen Gates at Boston College, and allows the user to control a computer just by moving their eyes. They were able to raise $10,000 with this fundraiser. There were also other fundraisers organized by many dedicated people in the community over the years. Todd was loved by many, and will be missed by all.
In addition to his cherished mother, Judy, he also leaves his devoted siblings, Rhonda Dykes and her husband, Jeff, of Salem, Lisa Chase and her husband, Laine, of Beverly, and Michael Gandolfo and his girlfriend, Ellen Moody, of Salem; his loving nieces and nephew, Nathan, Adrianna and Cassandra Dykes, and Lexi, Logan and Laina Chase; his beloved aunt, Janet Lombardi of Peabody; as well as several cousins, including his special cousin Darren Croteau, and his family of Nebraska and Janelle, Jodi and Kendra and their families; and his dear friends, Laura and Joe Rose, and their family of Lynn. Todd will be missed by his loyal friend, Joe Quartarone; his dear (roommate friend), Kevin Magee; and all of his lifelong close friends from high school. He was the grandson of the late Irene and Bill Coombs, and Midge and Tom Gandolfo, and was also predeceased by the favorite pet dog, Megan.
The family would like to thank the staff at Radius Healthcare in Danvers for their care and kindness, the residents and staff at Northeast Regional Services, his group home, who were his second family, and the entire staff at Salem Hospital.
ARRANGEMENTS: His memorial service will be held on Friday at 11 a.m., in the Solimine, Landergan and Richardson Funeral Home, 426 Broadway, Route 129, Lynn. Burial will follow in Pine Grove Cemetery. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Visiting hours are Thursday, from 4 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Brain Trauma Foundation, 7 World Trade Center, 34th Floor, 250 Greenwich St., New York, NY 10007, or to the Kaplan Family Hospice House, 78 Liberty St., Danvers, MA 01923, or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. For directions and guest book, please visit www.solimine.com.
“We will see you on another day, our ‘Brave Todd’ and once again be together forever.”