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George “Bill” Joseph Townsend Obituary

George “Bill” Joseph Townsend, 79, of Danville, died Sunday, April 24, 2022 at the Southeast Iowa Regional Hospice House in West Burlington following a courageous three-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Bill was born September 7, 1942 at Mercy Hospital in Burlington, Iowa to George William Townsend and Josephine (Woodruff) Townsend Kerr.  He attended school K-12 in Memphis, Missouri, graduating from Memphis High School in 1960.  He then attended Northeast Missouri State (Truman State) for three years and the University of Missouri for two years.  Following college, he lived and worked in California for a short time before returning to the Midwest.  

He decided to pursue a career as an electrician following his father’s path and training from the Townsend Electric family business.  He worked as an electrician at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant from the late 1960’s until retirement.

On May 14, 1977 he married Sheila Kay Long of Ottumwa, Iowa.  They lived in Burlington for a few years before moving to Danville, Iowa in 1980.  Their son, Brent David Townsend was born in December 1981.

Bill was a member of I.B.E.W. Local 13, Friends of Danville Museum and Library, Danville Community School Foundation, and a lifetime member of the Memphis, Missouri United Methodist Church. He was a previous member of the Southeast Iowa River City Corvette Club, Danville High School Athletic/Music Boosters, and served on the IAAP United Way board.

His hobbies included purchasing/restoring corvettes, lawn and gardening, building projects, attending Brent’s school activities, dining with family and friends, family Disney World/Florida trips, Iowa Hawkeye sports, spending time with his son and grandson in Toronto or Iowa when they returned for Christmas and summer visits, and golf cart rides with Sheila.

Bill is survived by his wife, Sheila; son Brent Townsend of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; grandson William Townsend of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; sister Ann Allen of Delray Beach, Florida; brother-in-law Mike (Shirley) Long of Mt. Pleasant; sister-in-law Susan Koger of Burlington, Iowa; nieces and nephews; great-nieces and nephews; cousins and wonderful friends and neighbors.  He was preceded in death by his parents; mother-in-law Vonda Long; father-in-law Keith Long; step-father Harley Kerr; grandparents; aunts, uncles and cousins.

The family would like to express their gratitude to the physicians and staff at the University of Iowa Hospital Holden Cancer Center for their outstanding care during Bill’s cancer journey.

Visitation will begin at noon Thursday, April 28, 2022 at Elliott Chapel, New London with the family greeting friends from 5:00 – 7:30 PM.  Per his wishes, cremation has been accorded and a private family inurnment will be held at a later date at Long Creek Cemetery, rural Danville with Pastor Jacob Yochum, Danville United Methodist Church officiating.  Memorials have been established for the Danville Community School Foundation, the Danville Library and Museum, and Southeast Iowa Regional Hospice.  Online condolences may be expressed at