Todd Joseph Brandstetter, devoted father and husband, passed away on September 13, 2023 at his “cabin” home in Chaska, MN at age 64 after a decade-plus courageous battle with BV-FTD (Behavioral Variant Frontal Temporal Dementia). Todd left his earthly existence peacefully, surrounded by the love of his family and smiling willfully at a beautiful picture of his Jesus near his bed.
Todd is proceeded in death by his father, Joseph John Brandstetter, his infant sister, Lisa Marie Brandstetter, and his mother-in-law Patricia Hules. Todd is survived by his wife, Michelle, sons Blake (Kayla) and Jack, mother Margaret Brandstetter, sisters Julie Ellingboe (Scott) and Michelle Smith, brother-in-laws Greg Hules (Jill), Don Hules Jr., and Steven Hules, father-in-law Don Hules Sr. and loving nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles.
Todd Joseph Brandstetter was born on January 21, 1958, the first-born child of Joe and Marie Brandstetter. Todd’s early childhood years were filled with boyhood adventures in a wonderful neighborhood called Charlottewood in Minnetonka. His days were spent in the comradery of a raucous pack of boys his age exploring the woods, hosting banana-seat bike rallies, playing little league at Bennet Field, going to cub scouts and hanging out in the 2-story clubhouse his dad Joe built in the back yard. Every now and then he would bring one of his two sisters along with the neighborhood boys, showing them a glimpse of their magical world of adventure. Todd’s family moved to Sherwood Forest in Minnetonka in 1969 – and Todd found his place with an amazing new pack of boys in another magical neighborhood. Lifelong friendships were formed there as Todd moved through grade school at Tanglen Elementary (where he first met Michelle in his 6th grade classroom) and on to North Junior High, and Hopkins Lindbergh Highschool. Todd continued to play baseball, soccer, and his favorite sport, hockey. Todd found his place as a defenseman on the Lindbergh Flyers Varsity Hockey Team and had the honor competing in the MN State Hockey Tournament with some teammates who went on to play in the NHL. The Lindbergh Flyer years were magical for Todd. Todd went on to attended college at St. Johns University in Collegeville, MN and skated for The Johnnies during his college years.
Todd and Michelle’s love story began when Michelle, remembering Todd from 6th grade, ran into Todd at Flagship Athletic Club and said hello. That was all it took for Todd. Dating followed with a marriage proposal and the beginning of life together as husband and wife. Todd and Michelle shared a love of the lake she grew up on and bought their first home on Phelps Island in Mound – a magical cottage atop a hill overlooking Phelps Bay on Lake Minnetonka. Newlywed years of boating and waterskiing followed as Todd and Michelle turned their cottage into a beautiful home.
Todd and Michelle bought their second home in the Jennings Cove neighborhood of Minnetrista, where the boys could relive their parents’ memories of growing up in magical neighborhoods with clans of kids. Memorable years of time with grandparents, friends, cousins, sports, and adventures ensued. Blake and Jack both played hockey from grade school through high school, Jack going on to play Juniors Hockey after high school. Todd embraced his roles as father, coach, driver, equipment manager, mentor, and skate sharpener. He served on the local hockey board, managed the family hockey road trips, and was a regular and known face at the local rink.
Todd’s diagnosis and battle with BV-FTD began during his son’s formative years of high school and college. Michelle, Blake, and Jack demonstrated endless love and support through all stages of this devastating disease. They selflessly championed his care, dignity, and quality of life from beginning to end. They moved mountains, fought battles, and made sacrifices to advocate for Todd, ensuring he had the best possible care. They provided great comfort to Todd, preserved his dignity, showered him with love, and gave Todd ceaseless hours of care, which Todd felt and knew through his last moments on earth.
A few things to know about Todd: he loved winter, peaceful snowfalls, skiing in the mountains, fresh snow, warm crackling fires with his family gathered, snowmobiling, organization, hockey, hugs, practical jokes, his dogs and cats, warm blankets, slippers, boating, waterskiing, biking, moonlight, candy, butter brickle birthday cakes his mom made, cool sunglasses, meticulously clean vehicles, Christmas time. Most of all, he loved his family.
Please join us in celebrating Todd’s life from 3-6pm on Sunday, October 15 at Burl Oaks Golf Club in Minnetrista, Burl Oaks Golf Club, 5400 North Arm Drive, Minnetrista, MN 55364.