Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Obituary: Charles “Charlie” Townsend

Charles “Charlie” Townsend
Charles “Charlie” Townsend, longtime resident of Baldwin City, KS, passed away October 2, 2017 in Winter Haven, FL.  There will be services on October 7 at 10:00 AM at Auburndale Memorial Park, Auburndale, FL.

Charlie loved to farm and fly his small airplane, and enjoyed taking friends and family flying.  On his wheat and cattle farm west of Baldwin, he replaced pasture with a runway for his Cessna 172, which meant a roller coaster take-off  for his passengers.  Charlie was a member and volunteer with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and took many a child on their first flight through the EAA Young Eagles program.  After retirement he moved to Edgewood, NM where he built a RV 8 plane.

Charlie was a bit of a prankster.  A relative told the story of taking his two young children on a flight with Uncle Charles.  Not long after take-off from the Kansas farm, the relative noticed that the fuel tank was sitting close to empty.  He assumed that they would head straight for a real airport to refuel.  The relative started to panic as the fuel tank was getting closer and closer to empty with no airport in sight and his two small children in the back seat.  Just about that time Uncle Charles asked, “Do you think I should switch over to the other tank?”

He was also a gentle, kind and patient man.  Most of the time Charlie was quiet and did not speak much.  However, a Baldwin neighbor of his fondly recalls him saying, “A little more time and a few kind words.”

In the early 1950’s, Charlie was in the army and stationed in California.  During deployment overseas, he was one of the few men that could climb a light pole.  He was trained as a lineman to help build the powerlines in Korea and Japan.

Upon return to Kansas, Charlie worked in Lawrence for Kansas Power and Light for 37 years.  He was one of the crew to go out during the middle of the night and fix the power lines, regardless of the weather.  He was also a skilled craftsman.  When his daughter left for college, she told her friends in New York City, “My father can fix anything.”

In his later years, Charlie moved to Winter Haven, Florida with his wife Lovilla.  When asked how long they had been married he would respond, “Too long.”  They were married 64 years.

He always loved his females, starting with his wife and daughter, a special dog named Allie and the many cows he took care of on his Kansas farm.  He had an interest in science as did his sister and daughter who both studied science in graduate school.  In his pride, he often wore a University of Washington sweatshirt given to him by his daughter, which is where she got her Ph.D.  Just a few weeks ago, he sat holding hands with her son, his youngest grandchild, while regaling him with anecdotes of the best pocket knife for cutting the eye teeth out of hogs.

Charlie was vital and active to the end and kept an interest in politics.  He wanted Dolly Parton to be the first female president.  He worked in the garden and was always fixing something.  His youngest grandson noticed that Charlie still had a death grip handshake at 89.  Charlie replied, “I have cut a lot of wire.”  He befriended many a waitress in Florida and loved to eat ice cream and pie, especially if it was homemade.

He is survived by his wife, Lovilla of Winter Haven, FL, his children, Karl (Julie) of Dassel, MN, Jim (Betsy) of Muscatine, IA, Patricia (Christopher) of Seattle, WA, and  grandchildren, Jacob, Rebecca, Andrew, and Dawson.  Charles has two surviving siblings, Shirley Wrinkle, Paducah, KY and Wayne Townsend, Sandpoint, ID and one deceased sibling, Noel Townsend, Federal Way, WA.

In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the Bethany Center of the Good Shepherd Hospice.

Services 10:00 AM October 7, 2017
Auburndale Memorial Park
1889 W Derby Ave
Auburndale, FL

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