Dr. James Joye Townsend Sr. passed away peacefully at his home on Fishweir Creek in Jacksonville on June 18th 2015. A native of Jacksonville, he was the son of Edmond Vernon and Louise Philips Townsend, and delighted in the company of two siblings, Cynthia and Vernon. He was born on January 8th 1929 and began what was a long residence in the Riverside-Avondale area of Jacksonville. A happy childhood began at Fishweir Elementary School which was followed by Lake Shore Junior High and finally Robert E. Lee High School, where he was known for his prowess on the track team and as President of the Senior Class. Following graduation from Lee, Jimmy, as he was known, attended Duke University, where a lifelong love for all things Duke was born. He pledged the KA fraternity, ran track, and decided to become a doctor. Duke also gave him his greatest blessing, his wife of 61 years, Kitty, whom he met on the train heading to Duke. After graduation, Jimmy was not done with Duke, enrolling in Duke's renowned medical school where the soon-to-be Dr. Townsend flourished along with his newlywed wife. Once during his studies there, he found himself taking care of an elderly patient who many years before had been delivered into this world by his own grandfather, Dr. A. S. Townsend. After an internship at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, where their first son Jim was born, the US Navy called for Dr. Townsend's service in the Cold War. Posted as the only doctor to the bustling Naval Ammunition Depot in Charleston, S.C., Lt. Townsend dealt with all manner of medical emergencies at a very busy and sensitive naval facility. During his naval service, a second son was born to the young family, Tom. In 1961, after leaving active service and completing his residency at Wake Forest, Dr. Townsend and his growing family returned to the place Dr. Townsend loved, Jacksonville and its beaches, where as a teenager he had served as a lifeguard. As a young pediatrician, he joined the popular and growing pediatrics practice of Hayes McCain and Moss, where he began to build a practice that touched thousands of children and their families throughout Jacksonville. During those years, two daughters were born, Kit and Amanda, completing his family with four children he deeply loved. After serving the city in the early 1970s with Mayor Hans Tanzler as one of the first members of the then-controversial Pollution Control Board, Dr. Townsend began what would become his greatest professional endeavor, the birth of Wolfson Children's Hospital. Together with other Pediatricians, hospital administrators, and generous funders, these men and women of foresight created a world-renown institution totally focused on children. Dr. Townsend was a major influence and guiding hand in this long and successful project, serving for years on Wolfson's Board of Trustees and as Chief of Pediatrics. Wolfson named him Physician of the Year in 1989. After leaving the practice of pediatrics, Dr. Townsend and Kitty hit the road visiting with their growing brood of grandchildren spread across the US and even for a time in Europe. Their home on Fishweir Creek became a gathering place for grandchildren, where Dr. Townsend introduced them to the magic of the Creek. It was at his home on that creek where he died peacefully, surrounded by his family and only blocks from where he grew up. He is survived by his wife Catherine Brittain Townsend and four children James Joye Townsend Jr. (Joan), Thomas Kingman Townsend (Jeanne), Catherine London Townsend (David) and Amanda McConnell Townsend (Mike). He is also survived by 12 much adored grandchildren: Carolyn Diggs Townsend, James Joye Townsend III, Elizabeth Hawkins Townsend, Alexander Boone Townsend, Laura Brittain Townsend, Nathaniel Light Townsend, David Thomas McRae (Carol), Benjamin Townsend McRae and Andrew Pierson McRae, Mercer Kingman Bristol, Carson Michael Bristol, McConnell Townsend Bristol and a blessed great grandchild Kendrick Wylie McRae. He was also graced with many beloved nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction and care of Hardage-Giddens The Oaklawn Chapel. The Service will be held at Riverside Park United Methodist Church 819 Park Street, Jacksonville, FL 32204 on Monday 22 June at 2:00PM. A private graveside service will follow a reception at the church. Published in the Florida Times-Union from June20 to June21,2015 - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/timesunion/obituary.aspx?n=james-joye-townsend&pid=175119974#sthash.Z9pYQAxR.dpuf
Posted on Mon, June 22, 2015