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Thomas Richard Townley

July 23, 1933 ~ November 3, 2023 (age 90) 90 Years Old


Thomas Richard “Dick” Townley, 90 years old, passed away peacefully on November 3, 2023, while surrounded by family. He leaves behind a legacy of community service, entrepreneurship, and a deep commitment to his loved ones.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Dick’s life journey took him through different states, from Illinois to Tennessee, but the majority of his days were spent in Lakeland, Florida.

Dick graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1958. His dedication to learning and growth continued as he embarked on a journey of service, first in the Army, and then in the world of business. His career with Publix grocery stores allowed him to rise through the ranks, eventually inspiring him to become an entrepreneur in his own right, establishing and operating his own grocery stores in Tennessee. In the 1980s, Dick’s entrepreneurial spirit shone even brighter as he co-founded a business venture with this father, Mac Townley, which led him to relocate to Lakeland, Florida.

Dick was not just a successful businessman but a true community steward, dedicating countless hours to volunteer work for the benefit of others. He was a dedicated member of the Rotary Club, where he made a lasting impact. He served as the President of the Lakeland North Rotary Club in 1988 and later held the esteemed position of the first Rotary District Governor of District 6890 in 1991.

Dick’s memory lives on through his family, who meant the world to him. He is survived by his wife, Paula, and their children Sandra Brown (Rick), Donna Hatton (Paige), Lyman Hines (Jill), daughter-in-law Beth Townley, and 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Dick was preceded in death by his son, William Richard Townley.

The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to the dedicated doctors and nurses at Lakeland Regional Hospital, as well as the compassionate staff at Good Shepherd Hospice House in Lakeland, for their unwavering care, kindness, and support during this difficult time.

Those who had the privilege of knowing Dick understand that he was a man of resolute determination, often reluctant to be the center of attention. In keeping with his character, and in lieu of funeral services, the family kindly requests that those who wish to honor his memory make a donation to a charitable cause close to their heart, a gesture that would truly reflect Dick’s values and legacy.

In the tapestry of life, Thomas Richard “Dick” Townley’s thread was one of integrity, compassion, and dedication to others. He will be deeply missed, and his memory will continue to inspire and uplift those whose lives he touched.

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