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302-478-7100 Wilmington & Hockessin, DE

Robert “Bob” Townsend

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 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.

Funeral Services

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 livestreamed. Those wishing to view the live stream should go to 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.


    Lauren & Sophia writes,
    We will miss you greatly Uncle Rob
    09/09/2021 10:47 pm
    Mark Mosrie lit a candle and writes,
    Beautiful words about an incredible man, a true original and someone who cannot be forgotten by anyone who ever encountered him. His outlook on life, sense of humor, compassion and generosity live on in those who knew him best, future generations who will always be talking about "Uncle Rob" and "Sunset". For these reasons he will remain alive in our hearts, minds, deeds and sentiments for as long as we live, and for as long as we spread the stories of his life.
    09/09/2021 10:47 pm
    Nancy Shaw lit a candle and writes,
    Dear Saly, My thoughts and prayers are with you. With deepest sympathy, Nancy Shaw
    09/10/2021 01:55 pm
    William Marc Sprecher, Leesburg, Virgimia 20176
    09/10/2021 08:00 pm
    Robyn Beck-Gott lit a candle and writes,
    The family of Robert Scott Townsend has our deepest sympathy for the loss of such a warm and caring man. We have many wonderful memories of him and his presence will be surely missed by all of us. We will miss his class, style, and exceptional leadership. The family of Sojourners’ Place will continue to honor his memory by making the difference when it matters the most.
    09/10/2021 08:45 pm
    Roman Kalpas lit a candle and writes,
    I will miss you my good friend. I will always remember the time we spent together working on the Sojourners' Place board. It was a privilege to have known you.
    09/11/2021 10:36 am
    Alan Huebner writes,
    Sorry about Bob's passing. Remember our high school days way back then, and saw him at a few reunions. Diane and I remember his pleasant personality. Alan
    09/11/2021 10:58 am
    Brad Copeland lit a candle and writes,
    I loved Uncle Rob, a lot. One of the really great guys of the world ! God bless him!
    09/12/2021 11:48 am
    Barbara H Riley writes,
    To the Townsend Family, I offer my sincere condolences. I had the privilege of working with Bob at Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate. I remember Bob as the kindest, gentlest man - a pure pleasure to work with. He always had a smile and a kind word to offer. I do remember chatting a lot with Bob about his family. I could sure tell he was proud of all of you. I hope all the memories you have of Bob will help you through this difficult time. God bless.
    09/13/2021 03:40 pm
    Brian Pomije writes,
    I'm very sorry to hear of Bob's passing. I enjoyed working with him for many years. He always had a smile and a great attitude. He will be missed.
    09/13/2021 03:53 pm
    Cynthia Lake Waetjen lit a candle and writes,
    My thoughts are with Sally, Muffy and their family and friends. Rob was a kind and caring man…a wonderful human. I had no idea of all the amazing things he did in his life and all the lives he touched but I am not surprised. God speed Rob…may your light continue to shine on us all!
    09/13/2021 09:50 pm
    Tom Herlihy lit a candle and writes,
    Rob loved sand, sea and sunshine. I did not understand his nickname Sunset. He brought sunshine to so many people and that warmth will be missed.
    09/13/2021 10:04 pm
    Winsome Hill lit a candle and writes,
    Rob was a wonderful friend to our family for many years; our parents considered Rob and Sally part of our family. We know that nothing can ease the pain of losing a loved one but may our condolences bring you comfort and may our prayers and the loving memories ease the pain. With heartfelt condolences from the Cayman Islands Winsome and the Whittaker family
    09/15/2021 12:48 pm
    Carmen Kriner lit a candle and writes,
    The Kriner Family sends our love and condolences to the Townsend Family. We are very lucky to have known Bob and had him share his stories throughout the years. He was truly one of a kind.
    09/15/2021 02:45 pm
    Jody Lewis lit a candle and writes,
    I have such a heavy heart, writing here, but also a smile. He was my godfather and I was his Fairy Princess Named Bruce 💞. And I was so lucky to have him. He was such a model of laughter and loving life for me. From my earliest memory of his (30th??) birthday cake covered in black roses 😂, to Duke basketball game visits, to the time I got to spend with him and Sally on St Croix just before covid, he was always the life of any party and I am so grateful to have learned levity and joy from him. To Sally and all of the kids I knew when we were growing, up, I send my love and condolences and Sally, I wish I were there to hug you. To you, Uncle Rob, I want to thank you for being my godfather. So much love, Your Fairy Princess Named Bruce 💗
    09/15/2021 03:52 pm
    Bob Schumm writes,
    Fast backward many decades to Lancaster Village where Sally and children lived across our street. At the time she was a divorced Mom. Then a Mr. Robert Townsend entered her life. All her friends and neighbors knew ( maybe before her ) - This is the ONE! Everyone was jubilated to see these two wonderful people wed. Time rolled on and while we all went in different directions there was always a bond and reuniting was always such a pleasure. Rob introduced us to the Caribbean and ignited my love of snorkeling and diving. Rob always impressed me with his knowledge of the out doors but this paled with his natural ability to bond with any person he met and he instinctively and respectfully made friends. Rob and I had, you might say, a little game between us. Because of our common love of Grand Cayman where the locals spoke with a slight accent, we mimicked same when we'd cross paths. So "High man" in Delaware as our greeting became "Hi mon" and in its moment transported us back to the islands we both loved. And it always gave us both a warm chuckle. So Rob, I close with a new phrase: "Lay-tah mon"
    09/15/2021 06:47 pm
    Margaret Rose Henry writes,
    Dear Sally and family: my deepest sympathy on the passing of your beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend and mentor to many! My life was forever enriched by having Bob in my life. I am so thankful for the lessons he taught me at Girls Clubs of Delaware! Sadly, Margaret Rose Henry
    09/16/2021 11:09 am
    Dick Elliott lit a candle and writes,
    I last saw Rob at an event at Old Union Church a year or so ago. Though we didn't see each other often, we were cousins, descendents from Bishop Levi Scott. If he were alive today, the Bishop would be so very proud of Rob, his accomplishments and his good works and deeds. Rob has done more in a life time than anyone I know, and he did it with a smile. The prayers of the Elliott/Scott family are with the Townsend family during this difficult time. Dick Elliott
    09/19/2021 07:01 pm
    bert and marilyn green writes,
    Laird and Jessica, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. I knew him for many years and interacted with him when he owned Crompton Townsend. We met again when you purchased your home. We send you our condolences. I am sure this is a difficult time, but you will always have the memories, and they will be sweeter as the years go by. Our best wishes to you and your family, Bert and Marilyn Green
    09/21/2021 10:23 am
    Johnie Joyce lit a candle and writes,
    A wonderful friend of over 60 years. He was one of the most important non-family people in my life. He took me under his wings at Duke University, ushered me into the Sigma Nu society (fraternity), gave me a nickname which I have carried gratefully since 1957, and has maintained a close relationship ever since. I really, really miss Rob! Rest in peace, my friend!
    09/24/2021 10:38 am
    Ellen Sherin lit a candle and writes,
    I never knew Rob but I know you from OLLI and just wanted to send you my condolences and let you know that I care.
    09/25/2021 06:02 pm

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