Todd Adam Britsch
1937 – 2022
Todd Adam Britsch, 84, of Provo, died at home on April 21, 2022 of cancer. He was born in Provo, Utah, on September 23, 1937, to Ralph A. and Florence Todd Britsch. A faculty child, Todd grew up in the shadow of BYU, went to his first campus concert (in itchy wool trousers) at five, and graduated from BY High School in 1955, having been active in debate and student government and editor of the school’s newspaper. A political science major and cellist in the orchestra at BYU, he was captain of the nationally televised College Bowl team. He served in the Swiss-Austrian Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After graduation, he studied in Hamburg as a Fulbright fellow before pursuing a PhD in humanities from Florida State University. His Fulbright year was immeasurably enriched when his fiancée, Dorothy Crofts, joined him in Europe to be married in the Bern Switzerland Temple.
Todd returned to BYU as a faculty member in humanities in 1966 and spent the next thirty-six years as a full-time professor. He and Dorothy became the parents of two children, Julie and Daniel, and they shared a rich life together, full of cultural opportunities, travel, friendship, and happy family times. Daniel died in 1993. Todd also had the opportunity of helping raise three grandchildren. Being a grandfather was a highlight of his life, and his main focus was always the loving and nurturing of his family. Dorothy died on April 30, 2003, just weeks after their 40th anniversary and less than a year after Todd retired from full-time teaching.
On December 3, 2005, Todd married Judith Merrell. Almost immediately after their marriage, they traveled to London where Todd (although retired) taught in the Study Abroad program. Todd and Judy have traveled extensively and developed fine relationships with each other’s children and grandchildren. They spent 16 years together, experiencing much joy and sharing some deep sorrow.
Todd’s scholarly interests ranged widely, increasingly focusing on 18th-century aesthetics and Rococo church architecture. His love of music, especially of Bach, developed at an early age and grew throughout his life. He rarely missed a musical performance at BYU and loved London for its wealth of musical offerings. Todd was an avid BYU sports fan, a passion that began at nine. His capacity to recall past football games, play by play, was astonishing.
Todd served BYU in a number of capacities — as department chair of what is now Comparative Arts and Letters, dean of the College of Humanities, and academic vice president under President Rex Lee. But his primary academic interest always lay in teaching. He especially enjoyed teaching on the London Study Abroad program, which he helped direct on five different occasions. These were also wonderful family times, in which Todd could share his love for the arts and history with those dearest to him. Widely loved and admired at BYU, Todd left his mark upon the university and was the recipient of some of the university’s most prestigious awards. But it is the impact he has had upon his students’ lives through his inspired, scholarly teaching that is, perhaps, his most enduring BYU legacy.
Todd was always active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served as bishop, high councilor (four times), branch president at the MTC, choir director, and teacher in many organizations, including adult Sunday school, which he loved. He also taught New Testament at BYU. This last subject occupied much of his study and devotion during his later years.
Todd is survived by his wife Judy, his daughter Julie (Jason) Hartup of Guam, and Julie’s children Chase Weir (Madeline Bresnahan), Jennifer (Jordan ) Lemmons, Paige Weir (William Deaver), and Riley, as well as Judy’s children Kathleen McVey, Julia (Daniel) Busche, and Karen (Mark) Berg, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; he is also survived by his siblings R. Lanier (Shirley) Britsch, Orem; Charlotte (David) Hamblin, Salt Lake City; Merlene (Michael) Ellington, Mt. Pleasant; Royden E. (Christine) Britsch, Cement, WA; and sister-in-law Shirley (James) Monroe, Martinez, CA. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Dorothy, son Daniel, Dorothy’s sisters Beverly Fuhriman and Marcia McClain, Lanny’s wife JoAnn, and Judy’s son James Merrell.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 30, 2022 at 12:00 noon in the Oak Hills 9th Ward chapel, 1960 N 1500 E, Provo. Friends may call Friday, April 29, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Berg Mortuary of Provo, 185 E Center, and Saturday at the chapel from 10:00 to 11:45 am prior to the services. Interment will be at Eastlawn Memorial Hills Cemetery, Provo. Condolences may be expressed at www.bergmortuary.com.
Donations may be made to:
Micronesian Conservation Coalition- http://micronesianconservation.org/
No Poor Among Us- http://www.npau.org/donate-1