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Col. Delbert Leroy Townsend

Friday, May 14, 2010

April 6, 1921-Jan. 26, 2010

FORT WASHINGTON, Maryland -- Col. Delbert Leroy Townsend, USA (Ret.), 88, died Jan. 26, 2010.

He was born April 6, 1921, in Norcatur, Kansas, and was raised in Danbury, Nebraska. He enrolled at Kansas State University with the dream of becoming a veterinarian. However, following graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. His distinguished 30-year Army career included tours in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam and concluded with his retirement in 1973.

He then began his second career working at Rosecroft Raceway and managing Seitz' Liquor Store in Oxon Hill, Maryland, until it was sold in 1989.

He established scholarship programs at the University of Nebraska and Kansas State University which have enabled more than 42 students to attend college.

He served as an active member of the 17th Airborne Association, including two years as president.

Survivors include his daughter, Jo Anne Townsend of Parrish, Florida, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and neighbors.

The memorial gathering begins at 5 p.m., with the service at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, 5 p.m., at the Decatur Community High School Gymnasium, 605 E. Commercial in Oberlin, Kansas. A private burial will take place in Oberlin.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Delbert L. Townsend Scholarship Program. Donations should be sent to either the KSU Foundation, 2323 Anderson Avenue, Suite 500, Manhattan, Kansas 66502 or the University of Nebraska Foundation, 1010 Lincoln Mall, Suite 300, Lincoln, Nebraska 68508.

Pauls Funeral Home, Oberlin-Selden, Kansas, is in charge of local arrangements.