He was better known as Grady to his friends and Papaw Grady to his family. He was a welder and trained at the Mobile Shipyards from 1941-1943.
He served in the U.S. Navy during WWII from 1943 to 1946. After he was discharged as a Seaman First Class, he attended school on the GI Bill and graduated as a master mechanic.
Grady was a welder at McCloud Steel and a service station manager in Wyandotte, Michigan, until returning to Nauvoo with his family in 1959. He and his wife, Berta, owned and operated the Townsend BBQ Cafe and Service Station for more than 30 years.
Papaw Grady was always the “entertainer” at all family gatherings. Everyone remembers him telling stories and jokes like no other. Singing and playing his guitar were always a hit. He was an avid fisherman and loved to take his boat out with his fishing buddies until arthritis forced him to hang up his gear.
Funeral services will be at Kilgore-Green Funeral Home Saturday, June 28, 2014. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. with the funeral service beginning at 1 in the Kilgore-Green Chapel with burial following in the Ashbank Cemetery in Nauvoo. No graveside services will be held. Dr. Ken Bentley will officiate.
Townsend was preceded in death by his wife of 71 years, Berta Harbin Townsend; father and mother, Chess and Ruthie Townsend; father- and mother-in-law, W.O. Harbin and Alta Dodd Harbin; siblings, Horace Townsend, Mildred Mann, Lois Turner and Jerry Townsend.
He is survived by his children, Betty and Jimmy Atkins of Prospect and Pat and Ray Hinds of Carbon Hill; grandchildren, Lisa and Wade O’Mary, Wade and Karen Atkins, Darrin and Dawn Hinds, Trisha and Christian Gann, Mark and Lisa Atkins, Kiley and Jodi Hinds, and Mandy and Frankie Williams; great-grandchildren, Anna and Mark Prevost, Hunter Hinds, Grant Hinds, Sarah O’Mary, Chandler Gann, Parker Hinds, Caroline Gann, Jakob Atkins, Molly Kate Atkins, Kimbrell Hinds, Mary Harbin Hinds, Katie Claire Gann, Travis Atkins, Wyatt Williams and Amelia Jane Williams; step mother, Sara Ruth Townsend; sister, Marie and Garland Guthrie; two sisters-in-law, Emilie Harbin and Peggy Harbin; several nieces and nephews; and a host of friends.
Pallbearers will be his grandsons.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests, if you choose, donations be made to First Presbyterian Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 567, Carbon Hill, AL 35549.
You may sign the online register or express private condolences to the family at www.kilgoregreenfuneralhome.com.
Kilgore-Green Funeral Home, Jasper; 205-384-9503