Farragut lost a true friend Friday, Nov. 5, when Todd Klepper, 41, died following an unexpected illness.
An avid volunteer, a Farragut Museum docent and Town Museum Committee vice chairman, Todd was admitted to Turkey Creek Medical Center Oct. 25 after suffering a stroke, and was transferred to University of Tennessee Medical Center, where emergency exploratory surgery revealed stage four cancer in Mr. Klepper’s stomach and liver.
“He passed peacefully with his mother, Pat Bridges; sister, Brandi Klepper Gibson; friend Annie Judkins, and myself by his side,” said Ed McGimsey, his partner of more than 16 years.
“Todd was an amazing young man who impacted the lives of many, and he was a true blessing to me and our fur babies — and to lose him at only 41 years old was unthinkable,” he added.
“He was a dear, dear friend, who was like family to me,” said Judkins, who served on the Museum Committee with Mr. Klepper and was a fellow classmate in the 2019 Intro to Farragut course.
“He was very giving — he was just a massive giver to others,” she added. “He actually took care of me seven weeks ago when I had foot surgery.”
Mr. Klepper, a native of Rogersville, had lived in Farragut with McGimsey since early in the couple’s relationship. They also shared a business together, TEK Enterprises.
In addition to his work with the museum committee, where Todd was vice chairman, “he was commended by (historian) Malcolm Shell (who trained him) that he was the most knowledgeable docent, and went the extra mile to know specific details and give museum tours,” McGimsey said.
Mr. Klepper also was preparing to run for the Town South Ward Alderman seat being vacated next year by Ron Pinchok, who is term limited.
“He had already been doing a lot of research, and had he been successful would have been right up there with the Mayor (Ron Williams) and (Vice Mayor) Louise Povlin on being invested in the Town government,” McGimsey said. “If he was really interested in something, he went at it 110 percent. He didn’t do anything halfway.”
According to Wendy Smith, Town Public Relations and Marketing coordinator, Mr. Klepper had logged 365 hours of volunteering with Farragut’s Unsung Navy, putting him in the Commander status of the seven designations.
“We have lost a great friend of Farragut,” Williams said. “He was a staunch supporter of our Town and he attended every meeting and event he could.
“He was everybody’s friend,” the Mayor added.
Mr. Klepper was a 2019 graduate of Carson-Newman University, where he received his master’s degree in business. He had worked in retail and health care services before going back to school.
Todd also was an animal advocate, and survivors asked that memorial donations be sent to the Small Breed Rescue of East Tennessee or Hawkins County Animal Shelter.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, Nov. 9, in Christian Sells Funeral Home in Rogersville.
“Todd will live on in our hearts and in spirit and I am so thankful for the 16-and-a-half years that I was blessed to have him in my life,” McGimsey said.