Anne Louise Blake Townsend
Anne Louise Blake Townsend, 84, passed away peacefully at Arbor Terrace Community in Suwanee Georgia, on June 17, 2020. The eldest child of Paul Owen Blake, M.D., and Ethel Lynn Lewis Blake, she was born on August 8, 1935, in Philadelphia, PA, and had what she always described as a magical childhood with the most wonderful parents imaginable.
Anne grew up in the Lansdowne area, always busy with various activities. She enjoyed dancing, knitting, painting and playing the piano. She frequently travelled between her godparents’ home on Martha’s Vineyard, MA to her grandparents in Chadbourn, NC, the hometown of her adored parents and beloved extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins.
After attending Lansdowne High, Anne headed south to attend Coker College, her mother’s alma mater in Hartsville, SC, where she earned her degree. She then married her high school sweetheart, O.T (“Jack”) Townsend, Jr. of Chadbourn. The couple shared five children and made their home in Chapel Hill, Germany (while Jack was in the Army), Virginia, and again in North Carolina over the course of their marriage. Anne called Wilmington, NC her home from 1972 to 2015.
Anne loved children and was blessed to have a teaching career that spanned over 30 years. She cherished her experiences at Gill Country Day School in Richmond, VA, Pine Valley Elementary School in Wilmington, and McCulloch Intermediate School in Dallas, TX. Anne had a formative influence on countless children, and shared life-long friendships with many of her fellow teachers.
Raised in the Baptist faith, she was an accomplished pianist and, during the family’s tenure in Virginia, was a frequent accompanist at evening services among local churches in Midlothian. She had a passion for traveling and visiting her children and grandchildren, splitting her free time with family in Greensboro, NC, Beaver Creek, CO, Dallas, TX, Atlanta, GA and Copenhagen, Denmark.
In later years, she enjoyed her gardening and was a member of The Garden Club of Wilmington. Anne was a faithful member of First Baptist Church of Wilmington for over 40 years, serving as an active member of her Sunday School class and hosting get-togethers at her home.
Anne will be remembered for her beautiful smile and easy laugh, her kind and gracious spirit, her generosity and her love of life. Her love for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren was boundless, and spending time with them was finding her at her happiest.
The family sincerely thanks all of her treasured friends and neighbors in Wilmington and beyond, and all the caregivers and staff of the Arbor Terrace in Johns Creek, GA for their kindness and attention to Anne over the last years of her life.
Anne was preceded in death by her parents, Dr. Paul O. and Ethel L. Blake, her step-mother, Mildred Blake, her eldest child, Lisa A. Barbour, her eldest granddaughter, Diana Elizabeth Townsend, and her beloved godparents, the Rev. Charles and Elsie B. Earle.
She is survived by a sister, Lynn Blake of Dallas, TX, a brother, Paul O. Blake, Jr. of Southern Pines, NC, 4 children: Katherine T. McKee (Peter) of Dallas, TX, Mark R. Townsend (Carol) of Greensboro, NC, O.T “Jack” Townsend III (Elisa) of Suwanee, GA, and Charles B. Townsend (Lisette) of Copenhagen, Denmark, and 14 grandchildren: Blake Barbour, Benson Barbour, Peter McKee III (Eva), Matthew McKee (Britt), Michael McKee, Mark R. Townsend, Jr. (Michele), John Hunter Townsend (Savannah), Victoria Townsend, Lauren Townsend, Hunter Townsend, Catherine Townsend, Oliver Townsend, Emma Townsend, and Christopher Townsend; and 5 great grandchildren: Abigail McKee, Margot McKee, Hudson McKee, Mark R. ”Tripp“ Townsend III and Ashley Townsend, and numerous, much-loved nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at Worthington Funeral Home in Chadbourn. Interment will follow in the Chadbourn Memorial Cemetery.
Visitation will be held from 10:30-11:00, prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The First Baptist Church of Wilmington for its missions and ministries.