[Courtesy photo]

Longtime Moab resident Ray Townsend, 88, passed away at home on June 28. He never knew a stranger, and was known for his quiet, gentle grace.

Townsend was born on April 16, 1931, in Nimrod, Texas, to Walter L. and Eula Townsend. He grew up in Portales, New Mexico, with seven brothers and one sister. Townsend served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict, stationed in Germany. After returning to the states, he went to work for the Santa Fe Railroad.

During that time, he met and married his beloved wife of 62 years, Frances (Fran) Gates. Later they moved to Alamogordo, New Mexico, where he was employed by Dynalectron (Land Air Missile Base) as an electronic technician.  

In 1965 he transferred to the Green River Missile Base and made his home in Moab with his two daughters, Diana and Valerie.

Townsend was an active member of First Baptist Church in Moab, where he served in youth ministry and as a deacon for many years, until his health declined.

He is survived by his wife, Fran (Gates) Townsend; his two daughters, Diana Hudson (Fred) and Valerie Mosher (Tony); four grandchildren and their spouses; and five great-grandchildren.  

He was preceded in death by his parents; six brothers and one sister; and his son, Allen Lee.  

Visitation will be held at the Spanish Valley Mortuary on Friday, July 5, from 6 to 8 p.m.  

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, July 6, at 10 a.m. at the First Baptist Church, 420 Mivida Drive in Moab, followed by graveside rites at Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

Condolences may be sent to Spanish Valley Mortuary, 386 N. 100 West, Moab, Utah, 84532, or shared online at www.SpanishValleyMortuary.com.