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Richard Warren "Dick" Townsend

1917 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Richard Warren "Dick" Townsend Obituary
Townsend, Richard Warren "Dick"
98, passed away peacefully at his home at Granite Gate Senior Living Community on March 16, 2016. Dick was born on October 25, 1917 in Kansas City, Kansas. Dick graduated in 1935 from Bartlesville High School, Bartlesville OK, and in 1939, he received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. In 1965, he obtained a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University. Prior to World War II, Dick worked as an engineer for General Electric in Cleveland, OH, Schenectady, NY, and at the Naval Ordinance Laboratory in Washington, D.C. In 1943, he was commissioned in the United States Navy and attained the rank of Lieutenant, J.G. He served at Pearl Harbor and Okinawa as well as on occupied Japan. After leaving the Navy, Dick earned his private pilot's license in 1946 and ultimately earned his commercial, sea-plane, and instrument ratings as well as a private glider license. Over a long flying career, Dick owned all or part-interest in many different power planes and sail planes. Dick was active for many years in both the Arizona Soaring Society and the Prescott Soaring Society. Post-war, Dick worked as an engineer for General Motors, 3M, and Ford. In 1951, he married Catherine "Beckie" Beckstead of Salt Lake City and they lived for the next few years in Chicago and Detroit. In 1956, Dick was hired by Garrett AiResearch in Phoenix, and Dick, Beckie, and their young son Rex moved to Arizona. Dick remained at AiResearch, now Honeywell, until his retirement in 1985. In 1988, Dick and Beckie moved to Prescott, AZ. Beckie passed away in 2005. Dick is survived by his son Rex Townsend of Prescott, granddaughter Sarah Muehleck of Stillwater, MN, and grandson Jordan Townsend of Colorado Springs, CO as well as his three great-grandsons: Jonathan Muehleck, Lincoln Muehleck, and Colin Muehleck, all of Stillwater, MN.
A celebration of Dick's life is being held Friday, March, 25th at the Granite Senior Living Community in Prescott. In lieu of flowers family donations made to Granite Mountain Hospice are suggested. Arrangements by Sunrise Funeral Home.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Mar. 20, 2016
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