Robert “Bob” Townsend, age 86, passed away September 5, 2021 at his home with family by his side. The son of Mr. and Mrs. George L. Townsend III, Bob was born in the home of his grandparents at 24 Kent Way in Newark in what is now the University of Delaware’s department of philosophy. Bob and his sister, Muffy, grew up on Townsend Road, which was named after his grandfather. He was a descendent of Bishop Levi Scott and Jacob B. Cazier. Mr. Townsend’s family was among the earliest settlers of Delaware.
Bob was a graduate of Newark High School, played football for the iconic Cleveland Avenue Clippers, and was quarterback of the winning Newark High School football team. Bob, also called Rob, graduated from Duke University, was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity, the Ollie Brother Honorary, and the Duke Track Team. He completed his graduate courses at the University of Oklahoma, the University of Delaware, and the New York Practicing Law Institute. He served as Vice President of Wilmington Trust and Senior Vice President of the Bank of Delaware. He also co-founded Crompton Townsend Realtors and founded Galaxy 7, a conglomerate of seven real estate companies with sixteen county offices. He also founded a partnership in the Cayman Islands. Bob and his wife, Sally, with their five children had many years of enjoyment at their cottage in the Cayman Islands.
Bob and two friends, David Ripson and Bob Nickle, founded the Delaware Leadership Prayer Breakfast. Bob was the first President of the NCC Economic Development Corporation calling on credit card banks throughout the country, while managing development of the New Castle Corporate Commons from its beginning. He later was a broker with Patterson Schwartz.
Always feeling called to give back, Bob raised funds to send more than a dozen inner-city minority kids on to college. With Delaware Youth for Christ for 40 years, he received their Life Time award in 2009. As President of the Girls Clubs of Delaware he opened a new club on 26th street in Wilmington. Bob served as President of Old Drawyers Church in Odessa for 10 years, Board of Prison Fellowship, trustee of Sanford school, trustee of Red Cross, President of Lower Brandywine Church, trustee of New Castle Presbytery, President of the Hockessin Inter Church Association, Chairman of Sojourners’ Place for the Homeless and trustee of Old Union Church in Townsend, DE.
Rob and Sally enjoyed their boat, Song of the Turtle, on the Chesapeake Bay. He enjoyed trips onboard the Cannoneer in the Bahamans, Cape Cod, BVI, NY Harbor and the Keys.
Bob climbed Mt. Washington, Maine’s Mt. Katahdin, and the Gros Piton in St. Lucia. At age 58, with his son Laird, he camped for two weeks while climbing the 14,000 foot Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the Philmont Boys Camp of Cimarron, New Mexico. Loving the Caribbean, Bob took groups to Tortola, St. Martin, Grand Cayman, and St. Croix.
Bob was a member of the Brandywine Valley Baptist Church, previous member of the Wilmington Club, the Ocean Reef Club, the Greenville Country Club, and then Director of the Newark County Club. He was also a Jack Daniels squire.
He was predeceased by his daughter, Wendy Besche. He is survived by his wife, Sally of 47 years; daughter, Patricia Townsend (Keith) of Anchorage; sons, Sean Townsend of Chadds Ford, Dr. Robert Townsend (Annmarie) of Boston and Laird Townsend of Wilmington; sister, Muffy Longacre (Aaron) of Tampa; and six grandchildren, Megan, Rachel, Ryan, Kyle, Avery and Emma Grace Townsend.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, September 16, 2021 at 10 am at Brandywine Valley Baptist Church, 7 Mount Lebanon Road, Wilmington, DE 19803. This service will be live streamed for those unable to attend in person. Those wishing to view the live stream should go to https://brandywine.church/livestream. Private interment will be held at Old Drawyers. In lieu of flowers, honorariums can be sent to Friendship Ministries, P.O. Box 55, Devon, PA 19333. Bob and his family are hoping that his participation in two on-going medical studies on Glioblastoma will help contribute to a cure someday.