Mary E. Townsend 1919 - 2006 Lawrence
Funeral services for Mary E. Townsend, 86, Lawrence, will be 1 p.m. Saturday at St. Luke AME Church. A private burial service will be in Oak Hill Cemetery.Mrs. Townsend died Saturday, April 22, 2006, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.She was born Dec. 30, 1919, in Lawrence, the daughter of John C.Z. and Florence Murray Fishback. Her birth father was Charles Jeltz. She graduated from Liberty Memorial High School in 1937 and earned a bachelor's degree in 1963 and a master's degree in 1965, both in social work from Kansas University.Mrs. Townsend joined KU's faculty in 1965 as an instructor and earned tenure in 1971. She also served as chief social worker in the department's psychological clinic from 1968 to 1974 and was director of the KU Office of Minority Affairs from 1974 to 1982. She retired in 1987. She was also a licensed specialist clinical social worker with a private practice from 1975 to 1988.She earned several honors and awards, including a National Institutes of Mental Health fellowship in 1964-65, KU's Higher Education Service Award in 1978, the KU Faculty Development Award in Gerontology in 1980, the Outstanding Achievement in Education Award by the Black Women Achievers Against the Odds Conference in 1984 and the 1998 Citizen Appreciation Award from the Kansas African-American Legislative Caucus.Mrs. Townsend was a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Academy of Certified Social Workers and attended Christ Community Church and was a former member of St. Luke AME Church. She also was a member of the Lawrence-Douglas County Board of Health, the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, the Douglas County Association for Mental Health, the Lawrence-Douglas County Advocacy Council on Aging, the Lawrence Human Relations and Human Resources Commission, the Kaw Valley Chapter Older Women's League, Interfaith Caring Neighbors Program, the Tri-County Advisory Council Area Agency on Aging, the NAACP and the Endacott Society.She married Ross Willis Townsend on Feb. 10, 1943, in Junction City. He died in 1968.Survivors include a brother, William Jeltz, Lawrence; and a sister, Helyn C. Hawkins, Lawrence.The family will greet friends from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at Warren-McElwain Mortuary.The family suggests memorials to St. Luke AME Church, sent in care of the mortuary.