John Ford Townsend
John Ford Townsend
  • January 14, 1936 - April 15, 2015
  • Franklin, Missouri

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John Ford Townsend, age 79, of Franklin, MO died April 15, 2015 at The Bluffs Skilled Nursing Center, Columbia, MO, following a prolonged illness.

In accordance with the wishes of the deceased, there will be no funeral service.

A remembrance is scheduled for May 30, 2015 at 2pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia, MO. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Lewy Body Dementia Association or to Columbia Second Chance.

Dr. Townsend was born January 14, 1936 in Kansas City MO and moved to Columbia months later. Here, he was a lifelong member of the MO United Methodist Church. He attended the MU Lab School and earned a B.S. and an M.D. at UMC. He served as a physician U.S. Army Captain, Vietnam Era.

Dr. Townsend devoted his entire medical career to the UMC Med School, serving as Professor, Chairman of the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences, and Chief of Staff of UMC Health Sciences Center. He retired in 2001 as Professor Emeritus after 43 years service with the University.

John had many interests and he continued to pursue them actively in retirement: he had been an Amateur Radio Operator since age 13, he studied astronomy [including building telescopes], he was an avid amateur geologist, and he continued to research and to write throughout his retirement, mostly in the areas of regional and family history , and mining history. He also gave much time and energy to caring for his pets.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Dean Loran G. Townsend and Veva Ford Townsend. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, LinAnn Townsend, and by five adult children and four grandchildren.

The family wishes to express appreciation to Hospice Compassus and to John’s devoted caregivers at Lake George Assisted Living and at The Bluffs.