Billy Thomas Townsend

Published 4:43 pm Monday, March 30, 2020

Billy Thomas Townsend, 77, of Elizabethton, Tenn., passed away Sunday, March 29, 2020, at his residence.
A native of Elizabethton, he was the son of the late Ernest Townsend and Josie Irene Campbell Townsend.
Mr. Townsend was a graduate of Happy Valley High School, Class of 1960, and received his B.S. degree from East Tennessee State University in 2001 in General Studies. He retired in administration from the James H. Quillen V.A. Hospital after 35 years and later from the E.T.S.U. College of Medicine, Family Medical Department. He was a member of Walnut Christian Church, Johnson City, and was a 32nd Degree Mason with the Watauga Lodge #622 F&AM. He served in the National Guard for six years.
Mr. Townsend enjoyed gardening, carpentry work and reading. He also did bookkeeping for various organizations and enjoyed spending time with his family.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters, Rhoda Reeme and Ora Love Deadrick, and two brothers, Richard Dale Townsend and Ernest Junior Townsend.
Those left to cherish his memory include his wife of over 50 years, Reba Vance Townsend, of the home; two sons, Thomas Townsend and wife Kallie Gay, Elizabethton, and David Townsend and wife Kim, Johnson City; a daughter, Rachel Townsend, Elizabethton; four grandchildren, Skye McLeod, Rowan Townsend, Lorelei “Rory” Townsend and Walter Townsend; four sisters, Mary A. Mosley, Elizabethton, Virginia Hughes, Elizabethton, Carolyn Shelley, Maryville, Tenn., and Linda E. Killen, Johnson City; a brother-in-law, Ira Hale Vance, Gray, Tenn.; and a special niece, Janie Townsend, Elizabethton. Several other nieces and nephews also survive.
A private graveside service to honor the life of Billy Thomas Townsend will be conducted at Happy Valley Memorial Park. Honorary pallbearers will be Kirk Hayes, Jack Chambers, Jesse Eller, John Townsend, Gary Townsend, Kirk Hughes, Kim Hughes, Craig Shelley, Daniel Simmons, Israel Vance, Blake Wiseman and R. Steve Lyons. A celebration of life service will be conducted at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Memorial and Honor Program, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1942 or the Shriner’s Hospital for Children, P.O. Box 5548, Kingsport, TN 37663. Online condolences may be sent to the family and viewed by visiting our website at
Hathaway-Percy Funeral and Cremation Services is honored to serve the Townsend family. Office: (423) 543-5544.

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