Otis Townsend, 93, of Hereford, formerly of Jackson, Mississippi passed away on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 in Hereford, Texas. Memorial service will be held on Saturday at 10:00AM in Wright & Ferguson Funeral Home Chapel in Ridgeland, Mississippi with Leonard White officiating. Burial will be held in Parkway Memorial Cemetery under the direction of Colonial Funeral of Dimmitt, TX and Wright & Ferguson Funeral Directors of Ridgeland, MS.
Otis Townsend was born on April 7, 1920 in Neshoba County, Mississippi to Jefferson Davis Townsend and Abigail Townsend. He was the third of four children. Like most kids during the Depression, he grew up farming for his dad. He attended Decatur Junior College. He played in a dance band to earn money and thought it was a neat way to meet girls. He learned that Decatur Junior College was preparing young people for a future in teaching. He left and arranged an apprenticeship with his uncle who taught him watch making in exchange for plowing 40 acres with a mule. He soon was working repairing railroad watches. Railroads were the main means of transportation. He eventually worked at Straus Stallings in Jackson. When WWII broke out, he enlisted in the Navy but failed the color chart test. Not to be denied, he got a cousin to pass him the order of colors and was inducted into the Army Air Corp. He would receive an honorable discharge, return to Jackson where he would meet and marry Jimmie Joel and begin his life long work in the jewelry business. He opened a store on President Street, and would later get into the marine business on Lake Hico. Through the years he made numerous customers his friends. He and his wife would have sugar cane grinding parties in the fall, where they would cook the juice into syrup and reminisce with friends. When his wife died, he moved to Texas to be near his son. He was a member of the McRaven Church of Christ in Clinton, MS.
He is survived by his son Carter and his wife Diane Townsend of Dimmitt, TX; two grandchildren Joel and his wife Lisa Townsend of Ft. Worth, and Jared and his wife Ashley of Lubbock, TX; two great grandchildren Kason and Bradley of Lubbock. In the short time he resided in Texas he made a host of friends, which we are most grateful.
He is preceded in death by his spouse Jimmie Townsend.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers that a donation be made to one's favorite charity in his memory.
You may go online and sign the guestbook at www.colonialfuneralhome.org
Published in Clarion Ledger on Apr. 26, 2013