Townsend Brothers Funeral Home has been in business since 1937. It is a family owned and operated business. On September 1, 1937, the Townsend Family purchased the Lord Funeral Home, located on Bellevue Avenue and changed the name to Townsend Brothers Funeral Home and it has remained family owned and operated by the Townsend Family since. The funeral home moved down to the court house square in the early forties where it remained for several years. Two Brothers, James and Forrest Townsend operated the funeral home together for many years. Their parents, Rev. John E. Townsend and Mamie Lou Dixon Townsend kept the business going while both James and Forrest served our country in World War II. In 1948 the funeral home moved to the corner of Gaines and Monroe. The building was a residential home that was build around 1912. In the late 1950’s the building was remodeled and bricked, and the chapel added. In 2007, the Townsend Family bought the Bank of America Building, just across Monroe Street, at 215 West Jackson Street. This building was originally the Citizens and Southern Bank built about 1970. The bank building was completely renovated and enlarged to become Townsend Brothers Funeral Home. On May 3, 2009, we had our open house after 2 years of long awaited planning and construction.
James and Forrest Townsend returned from war and continued to operate the funeral home as a family. James married Mary Whitaker who became part of the business as well. James and Mary had two children, James E. “Jim” Townsend, Jr. and Deborah Townsend, now Deborah Vestal. Forrest was first married to Clara Bell Mackey who died at an early age of cancer. Forrest later married the former Mattie Dean. Forrest had no children.
In 1976, Mike and Deborah (Townsend) Vestal had married and moved to Dublin after college. They joined the staff and has been apart of the team since. Jim Townsend grew up in the family business and after college, returned to the family business.
In May of 1986, at the age of 68, James Townsend, Sr. died of cancer. Forrest and the rest of the team continued the business until his death in 2002.
Even though the two brothers, James and Forrest are no longer with us, their legacy remains with the rest of the family and staff who still strive to provide personal and compassionate service.