ANNAPOLIS – Raymond Townsend, father-in-law of Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, died Friday morning at the Charlestown Retirement Community in Baltimore County. He was 84.
Raymond Townsend had been a teacher and principal in Baltimore County for 40 years. A lifelong resident of Timonium, he had been ill for several months, said Alan Fleischmann, a spokesman for the lieutenant governor.
“His passing is not just a loss for his family, it is also a loss to the Baltimore community,” Democratic Gov. Parris N. Glendening said in a written statement. “Ray was a devoted family man who believed deeply in the value of a good education.”
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend learned of the news late Friday morning while campaigning in Baltimore County, Fleischmann said. She spent Friday afternoon at home in Towson with her husband, David Townsend, and their children. She will do the same on Saturday, Fleischmann said.
She will resume her schedule on Sunday, first attending services at the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore at 11:30 a.m. with President Clinton, U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D- Baltimore, and Glendening, Fleischmann said.
The lieutenant governor’s father-in-law was a survivor of infantile polio and walked with braces until the age of 9, according to the governor’s office. The disease caused complications late in life, but Townsend never wanted a handicapped license plate on his car because he felt other people needed it more.
During World War II, Townsend taught at the two-room Baynesville School, where he would bring all 65 students into the woods during air raids, according to the governor’s office.
Townsend is survived by his wife, Dolores Fahey Townsend; sons Larry Townsend and David Townsend; and four grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. The location had not yet been arranged.