Shelton Townsend passed away peacefully after a long and valiant battle with Parkinsons. He never once complained in the 20+ years the disease slowly robbed him of all physical abilities. Shep was a brilliant man of many eloquent words, so the toughest loss of all was his ability to speak. He had so very much to say and tried desperately to share his love and appreciation until the end.
Shep was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas. He earned a BA in American History from KU where he was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity; and later earned his Masters in Education from UMKC. He taught Social Studies in several inner city junior and senior high schools. He worked briefly as a social worker in anti-poverty programs.
Sheps intellect was off the charts, and his recall of people, places and things extraordinary. He was a lover of classical music; opera; ballet; music; film; world, national, state, and local history; art; political science; literature; writing; and so much more. He never missed an episode of Jeopardy with correct answers rolling effortlessly off his tongue, and Trivial Pursuit was no match for his depth of knowledge in countless categories. Shep enjoyed a love of reading which he fostered in his forever-grateful younger sister Ramona.
Shelton was a kind and gentle soul who touched many hearts with his humility, gratitude for the simple things in life, and generously sharing what little he did have with others in need. He bore many burdens in his life with grace and dignity, preferring instead to focus on others.
Just over a year ago, Shep was put in touch with his two sons after decades of not knowing one anothers whereabouts. Charles and Victor immediately flew from California for a cherished reunion. Shep was amazed to learn of the next two generations of Townsends. He was proud beyond measure of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren; and immensely grateful to God for their well-being. Chapter Two of the familys time together has been all too short; Sheps passing so soon afterward a hard thing to understand. However, the same God, in his goodness, that brought the family together, also took Shep home to a life free of pain and the ravages of Parkinsons.
Undoubtedly, Sheps voice is strong once again and he is regaling everyone in Heaven with this eloquent orations, and leading discussions of great depth on complicated topics. His hands are once again able to hold his beloved books, and Jesus has the dial turned to classical music. Shep is also marveling at his beautiful family here on Earth, and will forever be their guardian angel. His faithful friends are counting on him for a few favors in Heaven, too.
We will miss you Shep. Your teacher heart and humble ways taught us so much about life. We love you!
Funeral Service Muehlebach Funeral Care
Thursday, November 14, 2019
6800 Troost AvenueKansas City, Missouri 64131
Directions Graveside Service Leavenworth National Cemetery
Thursday, November 14, 2019
150 8th StreetLeavenworth, Kansas 66048