- [S26] Berry Funeral Home, (www.berryfuneralhome.com), 6 Mar 2015.
October 4, 1924 - March 6, 2015
Townsend, Shirley, Knoxville educator and well known community grocer, passed away March 6, 2015 after a prolonged illness. Mr. Townsend was born Oct. 4, 1924 in Tremont, Tennessee, which is now part of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. He grew up in Pigeon Forge on his family's farm and later moved with his parents to Knoxville. He attended Young High School and lettered in basketball in the class of 1942. In the aftermath of WWII, he served in the European theater as a Technical Sergeant in the US Army Medical Division. After military service, he returned to Knoxville and married his wife of 66 years, Mildred (Millie) Byrum, and became a partner in the family's grocery business. He was the proprietor of Byrum and Townsend Grocery for more than 40 years while earning his bachelor's degree in education at the University of Tennessee. He was a teacher of geography, history and social studies with the Knoxville City and County schools for over 35 years, teaching primarily at Tyson Jr. High School and later at South Middle School. He made his home in South Knoxville and was a long standing member and Deacon of Sevier Heights Baptist Church. He is preceded in death by his wife Millie Townsend, and survived by his son Don Townsend and daughter-in-law Linda Williams, of Knoxville. A graveside service will be held Wednesday, March 11 at 10:00 am at Woodlawn Cemetery, Associate Pastor Charlie McNutt officiating. A Celebration of Life in Christ will be held Saturday, March 14 at 11:00 am at Sevier Heights Baptist Church, Dr. Hollie Miller officiating. The family will receive friends from 9:00 –11:00 am at the church. A brief reception will follow immediately after the service. Gifts and memorials should be made to Sevier Heights Baptist Church, 3232 Alcoa Hwy., Knoxville, TN 37920. Condolences may be offered at www.berryfuneralhome.com