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December 17, 1930 ~ February 6, 2024 (age 93) 93 Years Old
Charles Edward “Ed” Townsend, age 93, formerly of Belle Plaine and longtime publisher of the Belle Plaine Herald, passed away peacefully in Deephaven, Minnesota on February 6, 2024.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, at 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of the Prairie Catholic Church in Belle Plaine. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Monday, February 12, 2024, at Kolden Funeral Home in Belle Plaine and one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be in Sacred Heart cemetery immediately following the mass.
Ed was born in Belle Plaine, Minnesota on December 17,1930 to D. Charles and Pearl (Forslof) Townsend. As a young boy, Ed, better known as Eddie, was active in sports, president of his class, president of the Lettermen club and head of the committees for homecoming. He graduated from Belle Plaine High School in 1948 and studied journalism at the University of Minnesota. On May 15,1965 he married the love of his life, Susan Stromwell. Together they raised five children and celebrated 42 years of marriage until her passing in 2007.
After his love for his family came his love and dedication to the Belle Plaine Herald and the city of Belle Plaine. Ed served most of his lifetime at the family founded newspaper and printing shop. Dating back to his childhood years working with his father, Ed saw many changes during the eight decades he committed to the business. Ed served as a reporter, photographer, copy editor, ad salesman, printer and every other job imaginable before assuming the roles of editor-in-chief and publisher after the death of his father in 1969. As the third-generation Townsend to helm the Belle Plaine Herald and later Henderson Independent, it was Ed’s mission to chronicle and preserve the community’s history and defining moments. Ed retired in 2017 at age 86.
Through decades of service, Ed worked tirelessly to bring the community together. He served ten years on the City Council and sat on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce (acting one year as president) and donated the land to the city for Townsend Park. In 1961, Ed was one of the founders of the annual Belle Plaine celebration, Bar-B-Q Days, and spearheaded the inaugural Queen Coronation. He later started the downtown Cook-Out.
As a lover of Irish history and culture, he became a founding member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Shamrock Division One in April of 1980. He also enjoyed many years on the St. Patrick’s Day committee, being instrumental in forming the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration and parade.
Long interested in Belle Plaine history, Ed founded the Belle Plaine Historical Society and saved what is now known as the Hooper-Bowler-Hillstrom House, and the state’s only two-story outhouse, from destruction, preserving their unique history for generations to come.
Ed is survived by his children Dana Townsend (Steve Johnson), Dan (Rita) Townsend, Amy (Kevin) Connors, Jeff (Angela) Townsend, Caroline Townsend Smith (Scott), grandchildren Jack and Sean Townsend, and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his wife Sue, his parents Charles and Pearl Townsend and his sisters, Mary Townsend, Dorothy (Townsend) Casserly and Katherine Jean (Townsend) Berg.
To view and share photos please visit: https://www.forevermissed.com/charles-edward-townsend/