Donald Ernesto Townsend was born on February 16, 1933 in Kingston, Jamaica to Enos Townsend and Louise Richards. He attended Jonestown Elementary School, Mico Middle School and received Royal Society of Arts School Commercial Certificate from the Government Technical School in Kingston, Jamaica. He married Thelma Grant on April 24, 1957.
On May 11, 1964 he began working as a civilian on the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay Cuba. He took Accounting extension coursework from Old Dominion College/University. He worked as an accountant and administrative officer for Special Services/Morale Welfare & Recreational Services, U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba until February 11, 1991. During his time in Guantanamo, he taught Bookkeeping Classes to other Jamaicans on the Naval Base, was a leader in Jamaican community serving as an officer for the Jamaican Civic and Recreation Council and planned Jamaican Independence Day celebrations. He also served as Chairman of the JCRC Sports Committee handling recreational activities for Cuban and Jamaican workers on the base. Other activities on base included Toastmasters, Bowling League and Dominos of which he became a champion. He excelled in his administrative, accounting, and recreational activities and received several awards for outstanding and sustained superior performance.
On August 20, 1990, he and Thelma purchased a home in Winter Springs Florida. In February of 1991 they left Guantanamo Bay and moved to Winter Springs where Donald became actively involved with the Casselberry Florida Kiwanis Club.
In 1996, he returned at their request to work for the Morale Welfare & Recreational Services in Guantanamo Bay Cuba and remained until August of 2000. On August 18, 2000 he transferred to Pensacola FL Naval Base and then moved back to Winter Springs in October 2015, officially retiring on February 1, 2016, just 15 days before his 83rd birthday. In all he worked for the U.S. Navy as a civilian for over 46 years.
Donald along with Thelma attended Faith Assembly of God in Orlando. Prayer and meditation was a long time and important practice for him.
Donald Townsend passed away on July 22, 2020. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Thelma Townsend; daughters Margaret James, Dr. Marilyn Townsend, Dr. Audrey Bowen, and Rev. Charmaine Townsend; son Donald Townsend, Jr.; brother Ronald Townsend; sisters Rhema James and Claire Williams; niece Donna Williams; several nephews; 5 grandchildren: Christine Villanueva, Frank Christopher James, Jesse James, David Bowen, and Michaela Bowen; and 5 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents Enos Townsend and Louise Richards; daughter Winsome Sutherland; and sisters Gloria Griffiths and Winnie Taylor.
A memorial service will be held on December 19, 2020, beginning at 2:00 PM.
Faith Assembly of God, Stephens Chapel:
9307 Curry Ford Road, Orlando, FL 32825
Parking Lot #4
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