A brother’s eulogy: In memoriam to Todd Martin Stafne
— August 24, 1950 – April 11, 2017
Todd Martin Stafne passed away the morning of April 11, 2017 in Bellevue, Washington. He grew up in Bettendorf, Iowa. He traveled extensively throughout the world before 1992, when he moved to the Pacific Northwest and made it home.
Todd is survived by his beloved wife, Mayumi, and an older brother, Scott.
This is Scott’s eulogy to Todd:
Since I was 18 months old there has always been a Todd in my world.
The last time I heard from my brother was in an email he wrote me at 4:58 am the morning he died giving me his thoughts on a legal document I had written. When I saw the email, I thought “Boy, he’s up early…” But then I knew, getting up early is kind of a “Stafne” thing.
Little did I know then that in a few hours he he would be gone.
Sometimes we forget how fragile life is. It can pass in a moment. There are much worse ways to go.
Words can’t do justice to Todd. He was like a “force of nature”. To those who knew him well, the best description of him was simply “Todd.”
Back in High School they called him “Big T.” Of course, I never did. He was just my kid brother. I didn’t realize then how significant a “life tie” that connection is.
There are so many things I loved about him. Todd was helpful to those who needed help. He was there, anyplace he needed to be, in order to get tasks completed.
He accomplished much. I remember one time we wanted to get a road permit from Snohomish County to develop our mountain.
So Todd went into the Planning Department to ask for the permit and the first person he met with told him “no”. So Todd asked the person to point out in where in the law our request could be denied.
The guy couldn’t find the basis for his authority, so he passed Todd on to his supervisor to show him the law which gave Planning Staff the authority to deny the permit.
Of course, the next guy immediately said “oh no, you can’t do that.”
And Todd asked:
“Why? Show me the law which says I cannot do this.”
And when that Planner couldn’t find any authority to deny the permit, he sent him on to someone else.
So my brother spent all day at the Snohomish County Planning Department going from person to person, asking for those rules which prevented us from doing what we needed to do.
Finally, the day was almost over and he was sent back to talk with the original guy who denied the permit.
And as most you already know, at that point the guy signed the permit and Todd was well on his way to completing the project.
Todd accomplished many dreams in his life, and often those were about helping others; particularly those who for a time felt alone and broken. He was a helpful healer to those in distress.
One of the things that made Todd “Todd” was his ability to love.
He so loved Mayumi, his wife, and she so loved him back. I have no doubt the connection between them will long survive beyond the moment he moved on…
My brother’s loss now some 65 years later after he was born leaves a void in me that will never be filled here on earth again. Each day now, so soon after his passing, my grief grows as I realize I will not see him or hear from him again…
So now Todd has departed and we’ve come here to celebrate his life… And there is so much pain and hurt…
But underneath this, we must grateful. We got to know and be with Todd during parts of each of our lives during his life’s journey.
Rest in peace my brother.
I love you.
And will miss you for the rest of my life.