Memorial for Lois “Toddie” Todd McCulley ’47
CHAMPAIGN — Lois Todd "Toddie" McCulley passed away Sunday (Oct. 21, 2018). She was 92 years old.
Lois Jean Todd was born on Todd Farm near Chebanse on Nov. 9, 1925, to Moine (Moore) Todd and Willard Todd. They soon moved to Louisville, where she grew up. As a teenager in Louisville, Toddie would recall working weekends candling eggs and other tasks at Moore’s General Store, which was owned by her mother’s family. She attended Louisville High School, where she was proud that she and her cousin read every single literary book in the high school library. A lifelong reader, she devoured countless stacks of novels till the very last days of her life.
Toddie attended Millikin University in Decatur and then the University of Illinois in Urbana, graduating with a bachelor’s in journalism. It was in college that Lois gained the nickname of Toddie. She was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority and long after graduation served young sorority members as an alumnus.
At the U of I, she met Riley Jackson McCulley when he returned from World War II service in the Navy. Because of the war’s impact on university housing, she would joke that she and other women were living in a men’s fraternity house, and Riley was in what had been a women’s residence hall. Toddie and Riley were married in Louisville in 1947. They then moved to St. Louis. There, she worked for a publishing house and helped to support them as Riley obtained his degree at Washington University's dental school.
In 1949, Toddie and Riley moved to Champaign, where they raised four children. She loyally supported her family in all their academic and athletic endeavors, attending swim, wrestling and track meets, football games, science fairs and dance recitals. She also put her journalism background to work, reading and critiquing many school writing assignments. She traveled with her family all over the U.S. and the world. She hosted many international university students, often corresponding with them for decades.
Toddie greatly enjoyed art; for years she volunteered at the Krannert Art Museaum. She actively participated in many classes on painting, producing numerous art works that are now displayed by family members. She was a lifelong dedicated contract bridge player, continuing into her late 80s.
Toddie was an exceptional conversationalist. She could initiate and maintain a conversation with just about anyone. She greatly enjoyed meeting, socializing and working with other people from her memberships in the Junior League, her church and the Farm Extension. Toddie loved chocolate. She never met a piece of chocolate she did not like.
Toddie greatly loved and cherished her family, hosting regular Sunday dinners. Riley McCulley passed away in 2010. She is survived by her four children and their spouses, Daniel (Joelle) McCulley, Ann (Doug) Laz, John (Janet) McCulley and Michael (Jane) McCulley. She was the very proud grandmother of Christopher (Jennifer) Laz and Megan Laz, Riley J. McCulley II, Michael Q. McCulley and Kathryn McCulley. Her great-granddaughter Kyla Laz’s visits from California were a joy for her.
Toddie will be entombed in a private family and friends ceremony at Mount Hope Cemetery Mausoleum Chapel. Arrangements are being handled by Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 710 N. Neil St., Champaign.
Memorial contributions can be made to Champaign First Presbyterian Church, 320 W. Church St., Champaign, IL 61820, where she and her family attended.