John Milton Townsend

John Milton Townsend, 89, of Orrick, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, March 17, 2024, at his home, surrounded by family. John was born on March 4, 1935, in Orrick, to Harold and Helen Townsend. He was united in marriage to M. Patricia “Pat” Cox on January 18, 1958; she preceded him in death on February 17, 2020.

He is survived by his loving family, son, Keith (Cecilia) Townsend of Cary, N.C.; Tom (Deanne) Townsend of Orrick, MO; and Diane (Eric) White of Springfield, MO. He is also survived by six grandchildren, Candice, Phillip, Douglas, Ashley, Brittany, and Joshua; and nine great grandchildren. Additionally, he is survived by a brother, Charles Townsend, and sister, Ada June Andrews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; grandson, Andrew Townsend; one brother, Harold Bushnell Townsend; and two sisters, Mary Robinson and Virginia Whitsitt.

He graduated from Orrick High School in 1953 and went on to receive his B.S. in Agriculture from the University of Missouri in 1957, before returning to the family farm in Orrick. He was also a veteran of the U.S. Army. In 1984, his son, Tom, joined him in the multi-generational farming operation, where they worked together for over 40 years. Farming was not just his livelihood, but also his passion that he enjoyed sharing with family who came back to visit the farm.

John was a giving, caring, and selfless man. He volunteered on many local and county boards. He was a member of the Richmond Shrine Club and the Orrick Masonic Lodge, where he just received his 50-year pin for membership. He was a lifetime member of the Orrick Christian Church, serving as a deacon and elder.

John’s greatest joy was spending time with his children and grandchildren. For many years, he and Pat spent time at the Lake of the Ozarks, where they enjoyed boating with family. He also loved his many trips to visit Keith’s family in North Carolina and Diane’s family in Springfield. He especially enjoyed restoring the family Model T Ford with Keith and attending numerous country music shows in Branson.

As we celebrate a life well-lived, he will always be remembered for his friendly smile and positive outlook on life.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to either the Orrick Christian Church or South Point Cemetery. They can be left at or mailed to Gowing Funeral Home, P. O. Box 168, Orrick, MO 64077.

Visitation will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 22, 2024, at Gowing Funeral Home in Orrick. A Masonic service will be held during visitation starting at 5:30 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at the Orrick Christian Church. A burial will be at South Point Cemetery, Orrick.