In Memoriam | Todd Yuhasz: 1960-2022In Memoriam | Wed Dec 07, 2022 | 9:13am
The Yuhasz family are heartbroken to announce the passing of our incredible father, Todd Yuhasz. Our dad passed away suddenly in February, one week after his 62nd birthday. Todd Yuhasz was deeply loved by this community, and he loved it back. Our dad was the epitome of “work hard but play harder.” He was a jack of all trades. He bartended at The Chase every Friday and Saturday night for over 30 years. He also started Garden Street Furniture in our childhood backyard, later moving to a workshop in the Funk Zone. Most notably, he ran Toddy’s Christmas Trees at the Santa Barbara Bowl, where he loved and cherished being a part of so many families’ holiday traditions.
Todd Yuhasz was a marvel. Our father grew up in a small town in eastern Ontario called Brantford. He was raised by a single father who had migrated to Canada from Budapest, Hungary, right before the Revolution. Our dad told us stories of his childhood that would paint pictures only good enough for Hollywood movies. From having to buy his teacher cigarettes, hopping a fence to see Evel Kneivel, almost burning a house down, to getting stuck on a bridge with an oncoming train á la Stand by Me. We would go on road trips and our dad would tell stories the entire time. Todd’s biggest adventure came when he first moved to Santa Barbara. At age 18, he dropped out of his Catholic high school and hitch hiked across Canada, headed west. With no money to his name our dad hopped trains, thumbed rides, camped, sat in the back of trucks, and sang Neil Young songs all the way here.
After a few odd jobs and purchasing an always broken down 1964 Ford Falcon, he met a waitress at Moby Dick who would change everything. Our dad said he used to go in and hand our mom the bill to pay and his hands would be shaking because he thought “she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen.” After years of admiring one another from a distance, Carole and Todd moved into an old Victorian house on Garden Street. A few years later they would bring home two children, Dillon Todd Yuhasz and Haley Lee Yuhasz. Todd and Carole were an unbreakable partnership. Through thick and thin, they never ever gave up on each other. Todd and Carole would be celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary this coming Valentine’s Day.
There are many people in this town who love our dad, but no one like my brother and I. Our father built us the childhood of our dreams. Wagons, doll houses, army forts, puppet shows, a basketball court in our small backyard — we didn’t have much as a family, but with him as a father, the sky was the limit. Even as adults, this never stopped. His last big project was helping Dillon and his wife build a Disneyland-style shooting gallery in Arizona. Who else could make that happen other than Todd Yuhasz? Not a single day will go by that we won’t deeply miss our father, but we know we couldn’t have been any luckier to call him Dad.
The Yuhasz family cherishes Todd more than anyone will ever know, but we aren’t unaware of the amount of people in this town who adored him. We couldn’t take our father down the block without being stopped by someone he knew. He loved his customers, and he loved his friends. He remembered every family that came to the lot each year and always had a fun story to share about them. He loved his bar regulars so much that he stayed at The Chase for more than 30 years.
We would like to thank his community for all they have given back to our father and his family. Toddy’s Christmas Trees will not be taking place this holiday season, as we are taking the time to be together as a family on our first Christmas without our dad. We cannot thank you all enough for the years of support, love, and cherished memories.
While we are still in shock to have lost our dad, there will be a “Cheers to Toddy” celebration hosted by the Yuhasz family in February 2023 around his birthday. We love you dad, and we miss you. Cheers, Toddy!