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home : obituaries : obituaries April 30, 2016

2/23/2013 8:00:00 AM
Robert M. Townsend
Jan. 4, 1925 - Feb. 21, 2013
Robert Townsend
Robert Townsend

Mr. Robert M. Townsend, 88, of Rochester, passed away at 6:05 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, at Woodlawn Hospital.

On Jan. 4, 1925, Robert was born, the treasured son of Walter D. and Mary Elizabeth (Wheadon) Townsend. Growing up as one of seven children, he shared his childhood with four sisters and two brothers. Following high school, patriotism beckoned him and he enlisted as a member of the United States Navy, serving our country during World War II in the Pacific theater.

On Feb. 24, 1945, Robert and Bonnie L. Stretch were married in Rochester. Their wedding anniversary of 68 years was Sunday. Over the years, they raised two fine sons, Larry and Paul. The family tree continued to grow with the added blessings of five grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

An American sportsman, Robert enjoyed hunting deer, trapping and fishing. He was a member of a horseshoe pitching team in Florida, while living near Lake Placid. To relax, he enjoyed watching R.F.D. TV and cheering for the Chicago Cubs.

In 1988, Robert retired from Dean Foods following 23.5 years of dedicated service. He was also a member of the Steelworkers union No. 5840, and over a 60 year member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Robert and Bonnie were loyal and devoted to their First Baptist Church. He was also a member of the American Legion.

As a farmer, Robert embraced the planting and harvest seasons. His first John Deere tractor was a 1946 A. The last tractor he farmed with was his cherished 1980 John Deere 4030. Following his retirement, Robert made over 60 pounds of delicious home made noodles each week from a secret recipe, handed down through the generations from his family.

Robert is lovingly remembered by his wife, Bonnie; two sons, Larry G. Townsend and wife Sheri, of Plymouth, and Paul D. Townsend and wife Melba, of Roann; four sisters, Mary Catherine Gast, Norma Jean Vedder and husband Gene, Donna Maxine Overlander and husband Raymond, and Carol Ann Bradway and husband Bob; two brothers, Harold LeRoy Townsend and wife Georgia, Jack Lee Townsend and wife Wanda, all of Rochester; three granddaughters, Amy Blackburn and husband K.J., Robin Huffman and husband Vincent, and Julie Hughes; two grandsons, Kris Fear and wife Lisa and Kerry Fear; 12 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a great-grandson.

A celebration of the life of Robert M. Townsend was 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, in the Good Family Funeral Home, Rochester, with Mark Spencer officiating.

Interment was in the Rochester IOOF Cemetery, where military rites were conducted by the Fulton County Honor Guard and the United States Navy Honors Team.

Memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church, Rochester, or to Riley Children's Hospital, Indianapolis.

Online expressions of sympathy may be made to his family at

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: Steve Vedder

Aunt Bonnie, Larry and Paul so sorry to hear of the passing of Uncle Bob. I have fond memories of him that I'll always cherish. God bless all of you.

Posted: Monday, February 25, 2013
Article comment by: Connie Sutton

To the Townsend Family,
I am sorry to hear of Bob's passing. He will be missed.
God bless,
Connie Sutton

Posted: Monday, February 25, 2013
Article comment by: Randy S. (Pfeiffer) Hartman

Larry and Paul. I am so sorry for the passing of your father. My prayers are with you and families. God Bless you all thru these days.

( Classof RHS '65 and 4-H long time ago but still remember both of you. My roots will never leave Rochester families.)

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