Todd Lee Etzel, of Bellevue Washington, died at home on August 27, 2019 after a hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer. Our hearts are broken. He left us much too soon. He was born May 23, 1962 in Sidney, Montana to Mary Lu (Lee) and Carl Etzel, Jr. He lived in Savage, Montana for his first 18 years. After graduating high school from Savage in 1980, Todd was one of the very few applicants in the nation to be accepted into the Exotic Animal Training and Management (EATM) College in Moorpark California. He graduated after two years where he cultivated his skill for training and love of animals.
While attending EATM, he met Craig Schneider who became his life-partner as well as his business partner for over 38 years. Together they owned a successful, commercial parrot breeding farm and pet store (Animal Crackers) in Sarasota, Florida. They became highly-respected parrot breeders and showed valuable parrot breeding lines in the Eastern US. While in Florida, Todd and Craig also became expert scuba divers and dove throughout the Florida Keys and many amazing island reefs in the Caribbean.
They moved to Seattle in 2015 to enjoy the change in weather and scenery and to be closer to his family in the Northwest. Todd was an artist and a fix-anything kind of guy, but he really came into his own when he became interested in cooking. He was an avid and talented chef. He was proud to call himself “a foodie” and loved to cook for anyone that was lucky enough to eat his food. Todd especially enjoyed sushi and Thai food, and introduced his brothers and their families to many amazing foods. He was a super-fun and generous uncle to his nephews and nieces and loved teasing them.
He is survived by his parents, Carl Jr. and Mary Lu Etzel of Missoula, Montana; his three brothers, Tyler Etzel (Chris Daday) of Missoula, Montana, Brett Etzel (Sarah Stevens), of Spokane Valley, Washington; Blaine Etzel (Merritt Johnson) of Sammamish, Washington; his nephews, Ira and Baylin Etzel; nieces Mary Kate, Sela, Jordyn, and Bryn Etzel.
Cremation has taken place. A family gathering will be held at the home of his parents in Missoula Montana as were his wishes.