Thomas Covington Townsend transitioned to heaven on July 19, 2020. He was born June 11, 1930, to Donald Baine and Mary Hester Townsend, and with the exception of two years in the National Guard, he lived all of his ninety years in his beloved Wallace. At the age of ten Thomas began his career at his father’s business, Townsend Auto Parts, which was founded in 1933 and remains at the original location. He and his older brother Francis would continue to work side-by-side behind the counter for seventy-five years before retiring to the rocking chairs in the corner where they enjoyed fellowship with customers until Thomas’s passing.
Thomas Townsend was passionate about Jesus, his family, and his community, and he served each of them fervently. A lifelong member of Wallace United Methodist Church, he held many offices, including co-chairing as church treasurer with his brother for decades. He truly grieved these past few months when the doors were closed for the virus, preventing him from being with his church family whom he dearly loved.
Thomas was a family man. In 1950 he married Sally Jerome of Rose Hill, and their forty-nine and a half years together prior to her passing was nothing short of a fairy tale. Through this union, his daughters Susan and Jean were born. His sons-in-love, Archie Carter and Henry Campbell were especially dear to him as were those who fondly called him Papa: Bradley Thomas Carter (Kayla), Suzannah Carter Creech (Jimmy), David Hill Teachey, Thomas Jerome Teachey, Patrick Campbell, and Sharon Campbell Jordan (Lance). Seven great-grands as well cherish his memory. In 2007, Thomas married Sandra Batts Worsley, who became a wonderful wife and companion. They enjoyed many happy times together, and his life became greatly enriched through the relationships he had with his stepdaughters Phyllis Sholar (Dwight), Lynda Kornegay (Jim), Laurie Wells, Malissa Batts (Duane) and Georgiana Pinckney (Chris). Until the very end he enjoyed attending events which involved his step grand and great-grandchildren, and they were very fond of him as well. In addition, Thomas is survived by a very dear brother, Francis Townsend, and several cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Finally, Thomas loved his community. He was a sixty-year member of the Wallace Fire Department, and for thirty-one years he was their Chief. To say that he loved “his boys” and their families is an understatement, and his family is very grateful for the love and respect he received from them in return. He also served as a town commissioner for many years and on the Wallace Depot Committee and Downtown Revitalization Committee. Other organizations included being a member of Wallace Masonic Lodge 595 for sixty-five years where he was Master in 1962, a Shriner, and a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason. His love for his hometown was apparent in all of the many ways in which he enjoyed serving.
Thomas Townsend will be buried at a private family ceremony at Rockfish Cemetery. The family regrets that Covid 19 will prevent a gathering at this time but plan to celebrate his life when our world gets safer.
Memorials--- Wallace United Methodist Church and Wallace Fire Department
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