TOWNSEND, THOMAS CEDRIC (1943 ~ 2013). The following is an obituary for Thomas "Tommy" Townsend. The obituary was published in the November 20, 2013 edition of the Austin American Statesman.
Townsend, Thomas Cedric 1943 - 2013 Thomas Cedric Townsend, 70, of Austin, Texas, passed away on Monday, November 18, 2013. He was born to the late Cedric and Dorothy Townsend on June 9, 1943, in Paris, Texas. Tommy graduated from Paris High School and received a BA from the University of Texas at Austin. He married Cassie Maddox Townsend on July 11, 1970, and they spent the next forty-three happy years of marriage living in Austin with their three children and beloved dogs.
Tommy had served as the Executive Director of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association since 1990. Prior to joining TTLA, he was Senior Vice-President and Chief Legislative Counsel for the Texas Association of Realtors for thirteen years and Sergeant at Arms of the Texas Senate for seven years. In addition to his professional accreditation as a Certified Association Executive, Tommy has been active in association management organizations at both the national and state level. He has served as President of the National Association of Trial Lawyer Executives, Chairman of the Texas Society of Association Executives, and Chairman of the Political Action Committee of the American Society of Association Executives.
Among the honors Tommy has received are the Executive of the Year Award by the Texas Society of Association Executives, the Tejano Appreciation Award by the Texas Tejano Democrats, and the Partnership Award by the American Association for Justice. Tommy's personal life yielded a variety of interests including the Boy Scouts of America in which he attained the level of Eagle Scout, Order of the Arrow. He passed on his love of nature to his children with whom he would visit national and state parks across the country. As an avid outdoorsman, Tommy particularly enjoyed his annual hunting trips with old friends from Paris, Texas. He was also a devoted Texas Longhorn fan and enjoyed watching games with his family for well over four decades. Tommy supported the Boys Club of America, Caritas of Austin, and many other philanthropic and environmental causes.
One of his favorite and lesser known passions was privately funding educational scholarships for young people who demonstrated a passion for public service. Tommy was a voracious reader who never stopped wanting to learn. He was blessed to have been cared for by a skilled physician and close friend, Dr. Ace Alsup of Austin.
Tommy is survived by his wife, Cassie, and their three children: Justin Townsend of Austin; Trent Townsend and wife Ann Mackey Townsend, and their child Zoe Maddox Townsend, also of Austin; and Blair Townsend of Portland, Oregon. Tommy is also survived by his cousin, Sandra Chadwick of Paris, Texas, and numerous nieces and nephews. Funeral services will commence at 11am on Friday, November 22, 2013, at First United Methodist Church located at 1201 Lavaca St. in Austin. A private burial will begin immediately following funeral services. At the conclusion of the burial, there will be a celebration of Tommy's life at the Headliners Club located at 221 W. 6th St. from 1:30-4:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a donation in his memory may consider Caritas of Austin, P.O. Box 1947, Austin, TX 78767, Ph (512) 479-4610 or The Boys and Girls Club of Paris and The Red River Valley, 1530 N.E. First Street, Paris, Texas 75460, Ph (903) 784-6360.