Dennis James Cox-Townsend was born Feb. 1, 1954, in Duluth, Minn., to Gerald and Barbara (Korpi) Cox. He attended school in Duluth, graduating from Denfeld High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in social sciences from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and a master of divinity degree from United Theological School in Dayton, Ohio.
He married Linda Townsend on June 7, 1979. He was ordained in the United Methodist Church and served as a pastor in Wells; St. Clair and Beauford; Plainview, Kellogg and Weaver; and Chatfield. He retired from the ministry in 2002, moving to Rochester where he worked as a bookseller at Barnes & Noble for 10 years before retiring in 2013.
Dennis enjoyed reading and music. He was an artist with a focus on painting and calligraphy. He loved sewing and was known for his elaborate costumes. He was a trained massage therapist and also liked to travel, particularly on cruises. Dennis was an excellent cook and baker who delighted in sharing his treats with family and friends. With his tendency to overdo things, he sometimes made as many as 250 dozen Christmas cookies.
Dennis lived for others and believed whole-heartedly in the principle of "paying it forward." He freely reached out to help anyone in need.
Dennis passed from this life on Sept. 25, 2016.
He was preceded in death by his parents and by his wife and soul-mate, Linda.
He is survived by his daughters, Blair and Beth; his brothers, Dean (Tammy), Oddio and Ivan; his sister, Deborah (Tim) Seelinger; several nephews and nieces; his best friend, Ross Virock; and a wide circle of other friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the American Heart Association
, the American Diabetes Association, or local food shelves.
A memorial celebrating his life will be held Sunday, Oct. 9, with visitation starting at 1 p.m. and service at 2 p.m. at Ranfranz & Vine Funeral Home.
Online condolences can be left at www.ranfranzandvinefh.com