Virginia Lea Townsend

Published 9:20 pm Saturday, April 13, 2013

Funeral services for Virginia Lea Townsend of Madison are 11 a.m. on Friday, March 12, at Riverwood Family Funeral Service, with burial in Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery in Lawrence County.

Visitation is Friday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the funeral home.

Mrs. Townsend, 91, died April 9, 2013 at Mississippi Baptist Medical Center in Jackson.

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She was born Jan. 14, 1922, to John and Era Elliott Rogers in Monticello.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Buford Townsend in 1967; grandson, Clifton Wade Smith in 1968; brothers, Toxie, Jewel and Clay Rogers; sister, Gloria Lea Rogers; and also by 14 brothers and sisters-in-law and 12 of their spouses. Virginia was the last surviving member of the Riley Townsend family.

After Buford returned from World War II, they settled on the Riley Townsend home place, where she lived until she moved to Madison to be closer to her family.

Virginia was a member of Antioch Baptist Church in Lawrence County, where she served 42 years as church treasurer. She was a member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, her ancestor being Robert Elliott, South Carolina.

She was known for her generous hospitality, because all family members of several generations always felt welcomed and gathered at her home for family reunions, holidays and Sunday lunches. She was an avid vegetable gardener, dairy farmer and tree farmer.

She worked at Silver Cross Nursing Home for several years.

She devoted her time and her interest in family events and never missed a special occasion for children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was an avid sports fan with a special love for baseball. She traveled from the East Coast to the West Coast including Canada following the professional career of her granddaughter Candace’s husband, Jay Powell, including the 1997 World Series.

Survivors are her daughters, Charlotte Smith and husband, Cliff, and Rebecca Hart and husband, Harold; brother, Kenneth Rogers; sisters, Hyacinth Christman and Alicia Reynolds; four grandchildren, Andrew Hart and wife, Rhonda, Revia Smith Cohen, Dr. Philip Smith and wife, Klara, and Candace Hart Powell and husband, Jay; and eight great-grandchildren, Corey Hart, Hannah Hart, Wyatt Powell, McKinna Powell, Carson Powell, Cameron Cohen, Brendan Cohen and Luke Smith.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Antioch Baptist Church building fund, Lawrence County.

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