Todd F. Anderson was a hard-working optimist. When he lost a foot in a motorcycle accident, he switched his career direction to prosthetics and began helping disabled young people to thrive.

He also became a top amputee athlete and set a world record in the 200-meter run in Sweden in 1986, five years after he lost his right foot, his wife said. He is in the National Wheelchair Softball Association Hall of Fame and won national tourney MVP honors eight years as a third baseman for the St. Paul Rolling Thunder.

"He hit a lot of home runs," said his daughter, Erin.

Anderson, 50, died of a heart attack while biking with his dog in Roseville on Aug. 18, said his wife, Diane Anderson.

After his motorcycle accident along the Gunflint Trail in 1981, Anderson didn't let his disability slow him down, his wife said. He returned to college in La Crosse, Wis., as planned, including living in a third-floor apartment with some pals.

"He had them time him on how long it took to get up the steps on his crutches. It was a challenge," his wife said. "For him it was, 'Let's make the best we can out of it.'"

He earned a recreation administration degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1982 and began working in an adaptive recreation parks program in St. Paul while taking courses in prosthesis work at Century College in White Bear Lake, his wife said. "He decided he could learn to make his own legs and went back to school for that," she said. "He was a very positive, optimistic man. He found strengths in almost everybody."

Anderson coached his two children's baseball and basketball teams, and served on Roseville's Parks and Recreation Commission. He recently was secretary-treasurer of the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics, and had been president of the Minnesota chapter of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists.

"Todd was the kind of person people loved to be around," said Kendra Calhoun, president and chief executive of the Amputee Coalition of America. Anderson, who served on coalition committees, "was so committed to patient care. People sought him out because he was such a good strategic thinker," Calhoun said. "He was a bright star."

Anderson helped develop the prosthesis clinic at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Minneapolis in the early 1990s. In 1999, he joined Otto Bock HealthCare in Plymouth, where he was named vice president of business services in July, said president Brad Ruhl.

"Todd was a born teacher," Ruhl said. "He was probably the greatest presenter I have ever seen: very enthusiastic, energetic and humorous."

He was a mentor to co-workers and liked working with young patients, possibly because he was young when he lost his foot, Ruhl said.

"He took on a coaching role to help young people through very difficult times as they were dealing with lost limbs or deformed limbs. ... He always had time for people," Ruhl said. "He was a great leader and coach. He led by example."

Besides his wife and daughter, Anderson is survived by son Daniel, of Davie, Fla.; his father Gerald, of Roseville; and brothers Marc, of Newport, and Eric, of North Branch, Minn. Services have been held.