Dolores E. Townsend

October 16, 1935 ‒ January 18, 2016

Marion, Ohio

The Townsend family lost the matriarch of their family, the leader of their pack, Dolores E. “Dee” Townsend, died on Monday morning, January 18, 2016, at home surrounded by her loving family following an extended illness.

On October 16, 1935, Dee was born in Iowa City, Iowa, the youngest of four children of the late Ora R. and Marjorie Ann (Soper) Andrews.  She graduated from Olin High School in the class of 1953, where she excelled in basketball, helping her team become a two time state champion.

Raised in a small town, Dee fell for one of the young men there, Harvey James Townsend Jr., whom she married on March 12, 1955.  Soon thereafter, Dee and Harvey moved to Chicago, then to Marion, Ohio, as he transferred within a trucking company.  Together they started their farm on Fairground Road, “C.J. Stables”, which is still proudly run by their family.  Dee and Harvey shared over thirty eight years of marriage, and lovingly raised five children.  He preceded her in death on November 18, 1993.

In addition to being a loving homemaker, caring for Harvey and their five children, Dee also was the “controller” of the family’s trucking company, Townsend Brother Trucking.  According to her family, Dee “did everything except drive the trucks.”

Dedicated to the children of her farming community, Dee was a 4-H adviser for over 44 years, the majority of which with the Echoing Hoofs Club.  She also was a member of the Circle M Horseman, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 584, and she was a life member of OWHA.

With a love for the outdoors, Dee loved watching the birds and going arrowhead hunting.  But most important of all to Dee was her family!  She was her children’s and grandchildren’s biggest fan, never missing anything they were involved in…unless their events overlapped.

Dee touched many lives over the years as a teacher, a listener, a mentor, a friend, and a mother.  She will forever be remembered for her strength, wisdom, guidance, and unconditional love, and for her own unique way of speaking her mind.  She was one of a kind, and special beyond measure.

She will be dearly missed by her four children: Cathy (Larry) Runyon, Jamie (Bob) Wise, Jay (Tina) Townsend, and Cindy (Phillip) Rollison; a daughter-in-law, Robin Townsend; 13 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Including her husband and parents, Dee was preceded in death by her youngest child, Jon Townsend; and all three siblings: Ora Mae Pleuger, Ruth Reiken, and Glenn Andrews.

Her family will greet friends from 4 – 8 p.m. on Friday, January 22nd, at the John M. Boler Activity Center, 590 Forest Lawn Dr., Marion.  Services honoring her life will also be held there at 11 a.m. on Saturday, with Rev. Pat Street officiating.  Burial will follow in Grand Prairie Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Heartland Hospice, and they may be sent to the care of the funeral home.  Her family would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to them for their tender care of their mother and grandmother.

Gunder/Hall & Snyder Funeral Home is honored to have been chosen to serve Dee’s family and your condolences may be expressed to them by visiting

  • Dee touched many lives over the years as a teacher, a listener, a mentor, a friend and a mother. I hope God knows just who he called home and just who he’s dealing with. I do believe Dee will be making some great changes up there and we all know for the better. Cowboy up Lord for things are about to get exciting up there. You have called a great lady home, we sure will miss her down here.
    Our deepest sympathy to the family. We lost a wonderful, strong and caring lady.

  • Frank met Dee shortly after meeting Harvey when he first moved to Marion and went to work with him at Signal Delivery . Oh the stories he’ s told about the two of them. We’re so very sorry for the loss of your mother, the ruler of the roost.

  • So very sorry to the whole family for the loss of a great woman…. Although I didn’t get to see her very often, she always treated me very well. Prayers to you all in this difficult time.

  • A great friend to do many youth in the area. A true lover of horses and was to a lot of the shows, she will be missed.

    • I have a problem with auto correct on my phone. Was supposed to read A great friend to so many youth in the area. A true lover of horses and was to many , many horse shows. She will truly be missed by family, friends and horse people.

  • Townsend Family, we send our deepest sympathies and heartfelt prayers to all of you in Grandma Dee’s passing! She was truly an amazing, tender and loving lady …”grandma” to everyone she met! ❤️

  • I’m so sorry for your loss she was a very lovely woman I didn’t know her for a long time but the time I knew her she was a very sweet woman.

  • Your mom was a wonderful, hard working, straight up woman. I always enjoyed spending time talking with her. I cannot begin to tell you how special she and each one of you mean to me. You and she will always be near and dear to my heart. Thoughts and prayers to all of you.
    Thanks for you friendship Dolores. It meant a lot.

  • Heartfelt sympathies and prayers on the passing of your mom/grandmother. Dee’s tight knit family will be her legacy.

  • Sincerest Condolences to the entire Townsend Family. Delores will surely be missed by many. The whole lot of her “4-H kids” are in her debt for all of the lessons she has taught to all of us. May you Rest in Peace.

  • Robin, Jay and Tina,….
    So so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you all . Sending many prayers your way!!

  • Our deepest sympathy and prayers go out to you all for your loss. Dolores was a great lady! I always appreciated you always knew where you stood with her, and she always told it like it was . If you were in need she would be there lending a hand, an amazing woman.

  • Delores was an amazing lady that I had the good fortune of knowing. We would cut up when she were to come into the station . I will surely miss her.
    Thoughts and prayers to the family.

  • I am so sorry for your family’s loss of such a strong and compassionate woman… You are all in my thoughts

  • Lots of fun fair memories of all of the townsend clan! Thinking of you and praying for all during this time of sorrow

  • I’m so sorry for the family’s loss . Dolores was always kind to my husband and I. We were in need a few times of a boarding place to keep a pony and she didn’t hesitate to offer us a stall for as long as we needed. The only family members I know are Jay and Tina,and they are cut from the same cloth as Dolores and always kind to me .

    Sincerest Condolences to the Townsend Family for your great loss
    RIP Dolores

  • My deepest condolences to the entire Townsend family and extended family members as well. She left a great legacy. Prayers for comfort and healing in this time. Angels are sure watching down on us all at this time.

  • Townsend family many great memories with each of you so sorry for your loss thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time

  • So sorry for your loss. We have so many fond memories of the horse shows and the fairgrounds and Dee was in many of them. She wad tough but we will never forget her soft words to us telling us the kids will learn it, it just takes time. She knew exactly what she was talking about. What a beautiful legacy she left for every life she touched. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • My deepest condolences to the Townsend family. Dee was a great mentor and advisor and I have many great memories of her and the whole Townsend family from the Marion County Fair years ago. My thoughts and prayers are with you

  • Townsend Family, Deepest Sympathy to all of you. Your Mother was a great woman and a person the Marion community will miss for sure. I remember all the horse shows Circle M held at the fairgrounds and how she was always there making sure things went well ( which they did with her at the helm) I am sure God welcomed her with open arms as well as your Dad and brother. Treasure your memories.

  • Dan and I were so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. Although I didn’t get to know her very well I was impressed with her no bullshit attitude .Dan shared many childhood stories of the good times you all had when the Townsends would get together for summer vacations. our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of sorrow. Dan and Linda Townsend

  • Cory,
    Our condolences to you and your family. I know how much you cared about her and am happy that you got to visit with her during the holidays.

    Mike & Julie

  • So sorry to hear of the passing of your Mother you have our heartfelt sympathies and pra y ers.

  • To Delores’ Family,
    Please know that our prayers & very best wishes are with you at this difficult time. Delores’ hardworking devotion to her family was clear, especially the love & support I always saw her show her children. May each day, filled with the most beautiful memories, bring you strength & peace.
    Elaine & Jeffrey A. Linardi & Family

  • We lost a Friend in Dee, spent good times with her, and the Family.
    We know that God will have good use for her.
    We did not know until today Sunday, that she had passed.
    Love all of you
    Bill & Judy