Paul Arthur Townsend, 71, passed away on Sunday November 3, 2019 at home in Watertown surrounded by the love and comfort of his family. Paul is survived by his children, Alicia Rose Townsend, Bryan Townsend and his wife Ashley (Petruzzello) Townsend, Cristin Townsend as well as his former wife and faithful friend Clare Keating, grandson Liam and numerous nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by his parents Dorothy and Harold Townsend, his sister Lois Perock, brothers Leroy and Leland Townsend and grand daughter Charlee Mae Townsend Christolini.
He graduated from Southbury High School in 1968 and enlisted in the United States Marine Corp where he served in active combat duty during the Vietnam War. He had multiple awards and medals including the RVN AF Cross of Gallantry with Palm and the RVN Campaign Medal /w dev. He was a Veteran Member of the Middlebury Volunteer Fire Department and worked at the Stone Construction Co. for over 40 years.
Now, for the more noteworthy highlights of Paul’s legacy…
Following his first major victory, winning second prize in the 1951 Loring Studio Personality Child Contest, it was pretty much a steady run of remarkable moments hovering somewhere between fame and infamy.
The following are some examples including but not limited to, the Memorial School Flag Pole Misunderstanding of ’64.
Frequent sightings of Paul running barefoot through the streets of Middlebury at all hours and in all seasons as he made his way to the Middlebury firehouse responding to fire calls. Incidentally Paul was known for being the first firefighter into any burning structure, wielding an axe.
He also had an understated yet noteworthy sense of fashion evident in drawers full of t-shirts donning sports teams, patriotism or construction company logos, but also had an extensive collection of shirts with wildly inappropriate and offensive designs. The later of which were frequently worn with hand cut daisy dukes.
Just underneath Paul’s rough and rugged exterior lived a sensitive and thoughtful soul, one who appreciated the beauty of nature and life, love and special moments shared with family and friends; he will be greatly missed.
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