HOUSTON, TEXAS – James Morton Townsend IV, “Jay” passed away suddenly at his home in Houston, Texas, of heart failure on Monday, Sept. 28, 2009.
He was predeceased by grandparents, Charles W. Harris Jr., and the Rev. and Mrs. Morton Townsend. Jay is survived by his father, James M. Townsend of Houston, Texas; his mother, Frances Harris Townsend of Smithfield, Va., and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and his brother, Jonathon Harris Townsend of Houston, Texas.
He is also survived by his grandmother, Sylvia Harris of Fairfax and Smithfield, Va. Jay leaves behind many loving aunts, uncles, cousins and friends that will miss him dearly.
Jay, 26 years old, was in his final year of architecture school at Rice University in Houston. He was a 2002 graduate of Smithfield High School and the Governor’s School of the Arts. Jay has achieved the honor of Eagle Scout, became an inspirational artist, and wonderful cook. Although stricken with cancer at age 5, Jay fought back and was a survivor for 21 years.
A memorial service was held at Rice University Chapel on Friday, Oct. 2. A memorial service will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church, Smithfield, Va., Thursday, Oct. 8, at 4:30 p.m. with reception following. Friends and family are invited to bring cards and notes sharing their memories. A family graveside service will be in Lancaster at St. Mary’s Whitechapel Episcopal Church, Friday, Oct. 9.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ronald McDonald House of Houston or the Ian Wilson Larmore Foundation, CDP, 6201 Leesburg Pike, Suite 405, Falls Church, VA 22044-2201. Both organizations support children and families battling cancer or other life threatening diseases.
This may surprise some of my friends, especially those who know how much I love music and singing, but this was the first time I have ever sung karaoke, three weeks ago in Chicago with Jay.