Who was Dr. Shane Todd?
Dr. Shane Todd was a loyal friend; brother and son who was happy, successful, passionate about life and his work and above all else loved his family. He is not someone who struggled with depression as he has been portrayed.
Even without all the evidence, it is impossible to consider Shane as someone who would take his own life.
But perhaps the best way to begin to get an idea of who Shane really was is to hear from his friends and family.
On a gorgeous San Diego day, much to the delight of his parents, Shane Truman Todd made his dashing and dramatic entrance into the world. Shane never did things in the “normal” way. After being sucked in and out of the birth canal several times, he looked like one of the Cone Heads from Saturday Night Live. We are fairly sure that is where Shane got all of his brains. At least it’s the only explanation we’ve been able to come up with.
We moved to Pomona when Shane was three. One of the great highlights of Shane’s childhood in Pomona was Ted Greene Little League. From age 13 to 23, Shane lived in Florida where he excelled in everything he put his mind to. He took first in state in wrestling. Shane completed his undergrad and masters’ at the University of Florida, and went on to earn his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Santa Barbara. After graduating, Shane had several job offers, but the one he chose was with a company in Singapore called I.M.E.
Shane accomplished many things in his short life, however, the title he took most seriously, and the one he was most proud of, was that of big brother to John, Chet, and Dylan. They all looked up to Shane, and Shane did his best to guide them in the right direction (some were easier to guide than others). John is the one who gave Shane the name “Dubber,” and he considers Shane his best friend. Chet mentioned that he always felt safe when Shane was around. Dylan credits Shane with getting him to go to college. Shane called Dylan everyday to make sure Dylan was studying for his SATs. Without a doubt, John, Chet, and Dylan are better men for having had Shane as their big brother.
The one thing Shane hated more than anything was when his parents would brag about his accomplishments. It is hard not to. There is a lot to brag about. By far, the thing we are most proud of is not what Shane has accomplished, but the man he had become. In the months preceding Shane’s death, we spoke once a week via Skype. Shane spoke of his love for his beautiful girlfriend Shirley. He also spoke of his recommitment to, and love for, Jesus Christ. This was the best gift Shane could have possibly given us. We rest in the fact that Shane is in heaven with our Lord and Savior, and we are forever grateful and blessed to have had the privilege of being his parents.