Jon L. Townsend… “Big Jon”
December 14, 1962 ‒ January 17, 2015
Our favorite cowboy, Jon L. Townsend, best known as “Big Jon”, blazed a new trail to Heaven early Saturday morning, January 17, 2015, at home surrounded by his loving family. He was only 52 years old and of Morral.
On December 14, 1962, Jon was born in Marion, Ohio, the youngest of five children of Dolores (Andrews) Townsend, and the late Harvey Townsend. He graduated from River Valley High School in the Class of 1981, where he excelled in wrestling and placed 2nd in the state.
Big Jon had three loves in his life. First and foremost, was his beloved family. When he was only 11 years old, Jon met his future wife in the horse arena at the Marion County Fairgrounds, Robin Brown. They were only friends throughout school, and started dating shortly after graduating. They were married on July 16, 1988, and have cherished their thirty three years together. The most important thing in their lives has always been their two boys, Little Jon and Hayden.
Big Jon’s second love was horses. He loved everything about horses…riding horses, watching horse, breaking out colts, everything. Anyone who knew Big Jon knew all of this because he especially loved talking about horses. Born to ride, Big Jon rode horses his entire life, and when his boys got old enough they all took their riding to the next level together. The past few years, you would never have known Big Jon was ill, especially because he was out riding and competing well in many competitions, including the Survivor’s Barrels at the Tough Enough to Wear Pink Horse Show. In 2012, Big Jon was a state finalist in Master Barrels with the International Barrel Racing Association (IBRA). In 2010, he was the year-end Longe Line Champion with the Ohio Western Horse Association (OWHA). In 2014, he was the reserve champion in both the Open 4D and the Master 3D Barrels in the Champions Winter Circuit.
Big Jon was a member of IBRA and OWHA. He also was his boys #1 fan, avidly encouraging his sons in all their pursuits. He also was a charter member of the Sons of the American Legion Club, at the Harold L. Bradley Squadron American Legion, Post 584.
Big Jon’s third love in his life was trucking. He started trucking with his older brother, Jay Townsend, when he was 17 years old and they have trucked together ever since. They are partners in Townsend Brothers Trucking, hauling livestock together, mainly hogs.
One of a kind, Big Jon was the life of every party. He never met a stranger, and he had a way of making you feel like you were his best friends. He always made the best out of a bad situation, and could get you to smile no matter what was going on. He would give you the dollar he didn’t have, and would expect nothing in return. Big Jon always took charge, and you never had to ask him to do anything.
At the Townsend house, they have an open door policy. Everyone is always welcome. Big Jon was a father figure for every young person who came through those doors, and they got his wisdom, guidance and love whether they asked for it or not, because that’s just how Big Jon was.
Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife, Robin Townsend; two sons: Jon Townsend and Hayden Townsend; all of Morral; his mother, Dolores Townsend of Marion; four siblings: Cathy (Larry) Runyon, Jamie (Bob) Wise, Jay (Tina) Townsend, all of Marion, and Cindy (Phillip) Rollison, of Caledonia; father and mother-in-law: Bill and Diana Brown of Morral; two sisters-in-law: Terri Brown of Lakeview, OH, and Billi (Craig) Rutherford of Prospect; 13 nieces and nephews: Baili Underwood, Ramsi Rutherford, Cory (Vickey) Hughes, Charles (Jessica) Runyon, Nicholas Runyon, Christi (Dan) Hart, Jason (Holly) Wise, Courtney (Alan) Buckland, Jill Townsend, Justin Townsend, Callie (Ben) Lookabaugh, Clay Rollison, and Collin Rollison; and many cousins and dear friends.
His family will greet friends during a celebration gathering from 4 – 8 p.m. on Friday, January 23rd, at the Marion County Fairgrounds, Evers Building, 220 E. Fairground St., Marion. Services honoring Big Jon’s life will also be held there at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. Burial will follow in Grand Prairie Cemetery, with the procession led by Jon’s favorite horse, Buster. Friends and family are encouraged to return to Evers arena following the burial for a Celebration of Jon’s Life from 12:30 to 4.
Per Big Jon’s request, everyone is encouraged to come in casual attire, preferably jeans and your favorite boots.
His family would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to all of the staff of Kindred at Home Hospice, for their tender loving care of Big Jon.
Memorial contributions may be made to help his family with unexpected expenses, and they may be sent to the care of the funeral home.
Denzer-Farison-Hottinger & Snyder Funeral Home is honored to have been chosen to serve Big Jon’s family and your condolences may be expressed to them by visiting www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.