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Published: Saturday, 2/12/2005

Elementary teacher tutored after retiring

Nancy L. Gettum Tod, 74, who tutored home-bound children for decades after she retired as a second-grade teacher in the Toledo Public Schools, died of an apparent heart attack Monday in Foundation Park Care Center, where she lived since September.

She experienced increased forgetfulness after knee replacement surgery in 2002. Her condition was diagnosed as Alzheimer's disease in April, 2003, her son, Gregory Gettum, said.

Mrs. Gettum Tod of Sylvania Township retired in 1978 from DeVeaux School, where she had been an elementary student.

"She really enjoyed teaching in the building she had gone to in the 1930s," her son said. "She loved kids, and she loved the second graders. They weren't kindergartners, but they didn't know all the ways of the world. And she loved the boys. She was a tomboy at heart."

Class size varied, but one year she had 38 children in her room.

"I think very few people have the talent to organize 38 kids and have them going at the same time," her son said. "She set the tone early in September as a drill sergeant and then released the reins as the year went on."

She tutored until about five years ago, usually one student a semester, in Sylvania and in Fremont, where she lived for a time.

Mrs. Gettum Tod was a graduate of DeVilbiss High School. Her parents, Dr. Louis and Ruth Hill, were Ohio State University alumni, so "going to college was the norm," her son said. "You were going to reach for the stars, and education was a part of that. In later years, she enjoyed [University of Toledo] women's basketball. She used to say there was never organized sports for girls. She loved the fact that there were all these sports for women in high school and college."

She received a bachelor's degree in psychology from UT and returned to pursue a teaching degree, her son said. She began her career as a long-term substitute in the Toledo Public and Washington Local school districts.

Mrs. Gettum Tod was fond of outdoor activities - golfing, boating, swimming, camping. She made friends quickly.

"She made you feel so special, even if you first met her," her son said. "She could connect with anyone in any room. She had the spark."

She and her first husband, George Gettum, married in August, 1953. He died in December, 1977. She and M. Donald Tod, a longtime family friend whose spouse had died, married in September, 1978, and she moved to his hometown of Fremont. He died in April, 1983.

Surviving are her daughter, Susan Gettum; son, Gregory Gettum; sister, Marianna Redd, and two grandchildren.

There will be no visitation. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Feb. 19 in Glenwood Lutheran Church, of which she was a longtime member. Arrangements are by the Reeb Mortuary.

The family suggests tributes to the church.



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