EASTPORT and CALAIS – Austin Edwin Townsend Sr., 88, passed away peacefully March 26, 2010, at his home in the arms of his loving companion, Forrestine Wheelock. Ozzie was born Nov. 16, 1921, to Edwin and Nellie (Hayden) Townsend in the South End of Eastport, as their eighth child out of 10. He attended local schools and spent countless hours working on his father’s fishing boat. During the war he worked at Grumman Air Plant helping provide the troops with planes and material to carry on the war efforts. He also worked as a civil servant patrolling the beaches of Long Island, N.Y. While in New York, he would spend his downtime exploring the city. Being a small town boy, he would inevitably end up lost which required rescue from his big sister, Pearl. Returning to Eastport after the war, Ozzie married Elaine Ritchie in August 1947. They resided and raised their five children in Eastport, enjoying 38 years of joy and love until her untimely death in 1985. Ozzie was a lifelong brother of Knights of Pythias, Anchor Lodge No. 41, receiving his 50-year pin in 2005 with a total service of 65 years. He retired after 35 years of work for Gilford Industries. Ozzie met Forrestine Wheelock in 1989 and soon after moved to Calais; they went on to enjoy more than 20 years of loving companionship. Forrestine provided love to Ozzie and became a second mom to his family. Ozzie and Forrestine enjoyed walking the streets of Eastport, looking at neighbor’s flower gardens and just enjoying each other’s company. Ozzie always enjoyed his Sunday drives and clam baskets. His afternoon naps were a must right after his warm glass of Narragansett, best sipped on the front porch with a saltshaker nearby. He was very active in the local chapter of the Maine Republican Party and was an avid reader. Ozzie’s loving sister, Pearl described him as a gentleman and gentle person. Tolerance being Dad’s creed, he often said, “Judge not a man by what you hear but by how a man treats you.” In addition to his parents, Ozzie was predeceased by his wife, Elaine Townsend; an infant daughter, Melissa; eight siblings; and his daughter-in-law, Janet Townsend. Survivors include his longtime companion, Forrestine Wheelock of Calais and her two sons, Forrest and David Wheelock; two daughters, Ann Townsend of Bangor and Maria Townsend and her partner, Brent Ellinwood, of Eastport; three sons, George Townsend of Eastport, Austin Townsend Jr. of Perry and Alan Townsend of Bangor; a sister, Pearl Miliano of Searsport; 14 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews; lots of friends, with a special mention to two friends, Bob and Pat Bishop. Visitation will be held 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 30, at Maria Townsend’s home, 64 High St., Eastport, where a funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, with Pastor Robert Hinton officiating. Burial will take place at a later date at Bayside Cemetery. Arrangements are in the care of Mays Funeral Home, Calais and Eastport. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.maysfuneralhome.com.
AUSTIN E. TOWNSEND SR.
Posted March 28, 2010, at 7:42 p.m.