Todd James Hizer, 68, of Savannah, Georgia, died peacefully on Sunday, October 8, 2023, in his
sleep, at home, surrounded by loved ones, after a long battle with cancer. Todd was the son of the
late Harold J. and Patricia E. Hizer. He is survived by his daughter Erica Buskey (David
Eichholz); his sisters Tracey Edwards (Mark) and Tenny Walsh (Tom); and his brother Trenton
Hizer (Mari). He is also survived by two nieces, Tricia Edwards and Caroline Hizer, and two
nephews, A. J. Edwards and Gavin Walsh. He also leaves behind his beloved dog, Sophie, who is
one of many pups he rescued and loved throughout the years. Todd will be greatly missed by his family and his
Todd was born on August 28, 1955, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He spent his childhood in
Pittsburgh, Columbus, Ohio, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Virginia Beach, Virginia. In each of these places, Todd cultivated a deep interest in science and nature. His father introduced him to the sport of fishing,
and that remained a favorite interest throughout his life. His mother, aunts, and uncles nurtured
his keen interest in gardening. This knowledge ensured that Todd was surrounded by nature’s
beauty no matter where he lived.
Todd graduated from North Forsythe High School in Winston-Salem in 1973. He worked at jobs
in landscaping, heating and air conditioning, and at the shipping terminals in Norfolk,
Virginia. Todd earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Old Dominion University
in Norfolk in 1980, and his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of South Carolina in
1986. He taught as an assistant professor at Claflin College in Orangeburg, South Carolina, from
1985 to 1989, then joined the faculty of Armstrong State College in the fall of 1989. Todd
served as interim head of the Department of Chemistry and Physics between 2004 and 2006.
Todd retired in May 2020 after 31 years of teaching, and was awarded emeritus status by Georgia
Todd was beloved by his students both as a teacher and a mentor. Primarily teaching Physical Chemistry and General Chemistry, he would spend hours with students in his office working on problems and supporting their success. He would say yes to any request and was a champion of recruiting and retaining students. Todd served as a Savannah Science Seminar board member for 30 years and was a tireless worker for the Coastal Georgia Section of the American Chemical Society. He enjoyed the many times he was able to take science experiments to kids, be it at events with the student affiliates or with other student groups that came to campus. His family was always surprised, proud, and slightly amused at how often Todd was recognized by colleagues, former students, and friends as he took them to stores, restaurants, and other places around Savannah. They often would hear someone call, Dr. Hizer! Dr. Hizer!
Todd spent many quality evenings in conversation and comradery with the staff and regulars at
the Dew Drop Inn, and he considered them his second family and the Dew Drop as a second
home. They loved him like a brother and will greatly miss him.
Todd was an enthusiastic backer of Armstrong sports, especially women’s softball, and often
attended games, cheering the teams on. He rooted for the Pittsburgh Pirates even during their
lean years. Todd was passionately devoted to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the University of South
Carolina Gamecocks, with them in the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
A memorial service will be held in Savannah on November 18 with time and place to be
determined. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in his name be made to the Friends
of Oatland, Inc., P.O. Box 30959, Savannah, Georgia, 31410 or