Betty Townsend

Betty Townsend of Parsons died Monday, May 20, 2019, at home from complications of a stroke suffered on May 7. Her husband and sons were at her side. 

Betty was born in the 1940s in Cottonwood Falls at her Uncle Marion’s gas station. Her mother died right after giving birth to Betty. Betty was raised from birth by her Uncle Marion C. and Aunt Laura Alice (Ayers) Danby of Wichita. Betty told her husband, Warren, many times that she was looking forward to meeting her birth mother.

Betty grew up in Wichita and graduated from North High School in 1958. She attended Phillips University for two years and graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology in 1962. She graduated from Wichita State University in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in French and German education. In 1979 she earned a master’s degree in special education from Wichita State University.

Betty and Warren C. Townsend were married June 23, 1962, at Fairview Christian Church in Wichita, where they met.

She was a perpetual student, a lifelong learner and self-taught Bible scholar and teacher. She volunteered at Youth Crisis Center and played bridge three to four times weekly. She loved to cook. She was busy keeping her husband “in check” and had traveled extensively in the United States, Europe and the Holy Land.

Her professional working career included being a medical technologist in Wichita, Neodesha and Independence and a German teacher and a special education teacher in public schools in Derby, Spearville, Wellington and Belle Plaine. She was employed at the state hospital and training centers in Winfield, Topeka and Parsons and finally at CLASS Ltd. in Parsons, retiring in 2008. She enjoyed teaching and giving assistance to those in need of her caring.

In her early years Betty was a Girl Scout from 1948 to 1955. She worked with Boy Scouts from 1979 to 1992. She was a lifetime member of the National Education Association. Locally she was affiliated with Center Bethel Church, First Christian Church, First Presbyterian Church and Mt. Zion Church of rural Cherryvale.

She is survived by her husband, Warren, of the home; two sons, Nelson Townsend and his wife, Melanie, and their children, Baird and Ky, of Olathe and Morgen Townsend and his wife, Shasta, and their twins, daughter Lydia and son Chester, of Rock Springs, Wyoming; a brother, Robert “Bob” Danby and his wife, Chong, of Las Vegas; a sister, Mary Ann (Danby) Hesford and her husband, Ernie, of Pulaski, New York; nieces Sabrina Hesford of Pennellville, New York, Anna Hesford of Lacona, New York, and Margaret (Hesford) Blodgett and her husband, Tim, of Orwell, New York; half-sisters Nancy (Danby) Forney and her husband, Bill, of Lubbock, Texas, and Ila Kay (Danby) Crawford of Tucson, Arizona; brother-in-law Eddie Townsend and his wife, Karen, of Alamogordo, New Mexico; nephew Paul Townsend and his wife, Lori, of Cheyenne, Wyoming; niece Brenda (Townsend) McMillan of Cheyenne, Wyoming; niece Connie (Townsend) Jonson and her husband, Lane, of Carpenter, Wyoming; nephew Eric Townsend of Cheyenne, Wyoming; sister-in-law Mary Jane Townsend of Wichita; nephews Brent Townsend of Wichita and Zach Townsend and his wife, Leigh, of Littleton, Colorado; and many other family members and many friends.

Preceding her in death were her beloved uncle and aunt who raised her, Marion and Laura Alice Ayers Danby; her mother and father, Noel and Anna Mae (Abraham) Danby; her stepmother, Gladys Danby; a brother-in-law, Loyd G. Townsend; and two sisters-in-law, Helen (Griffith) Townsend and Jane (Oberg) Townsend.

The family will have a private burial at Ross Cemetery near Neodesha. A memorial service is being planned for 3 p.m. July 7 at First Christian Church of Parsons. Carson-Wall Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Memorials are suggested to the four churches mentioned earlier and may be left at or sent to the funeral home, Box 942, Parsons, KS  67357.

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