Mary Jane (Janie) Townsley, 95, passed away January 2, 2017, at Main Street Manor in Russell.  She was born October 30, 1921, to Walburga (Riedl) and Emanuel “Monte” Krug in Hoisington.  The family moved to Great Bend where she attended school, being named Homecoming Queen in 1939. 

She married Russell T Townsley on August 21, 1942, in Great Bend where she worked at the high school and Phillips Petroleum.  After stints in Champlain, IL., Boston, MA, and Boca Raton FL., while Russ was in the service, they returned to Great Bend and moved to Russell in 1948 when they acquired the Russell Daily News.   With Russ attending lengthy school board and city council meetings, she became adept at cooking casseroles which frequently were cussed and discussed in her husband’s weekly column although universally acclaimed by often unexpected guests that included area and national journalists covering events in Russell.  She played bridge and encouraged and supported activities of her children as well as those of her friends and family.

A child of the depression and dust bowl and a new wife and mother during World War II, Mary Jane possessed a positive, warm spirit that did not falter through her final days.  Cherishing her spirit are a daughter, Alice Bair (Mike); grandson Trevor Bair (Sarah) and great grandsons Connor and Caleb Bair of Longmont, Colorado; and a son Russell W. Townsley in Overland Park.  Her parents and husband preceded her in death.

Celebration of Janie’s Life will be held at 11:00 AM, Monday, January 9, 2017 at the First Congregational Church with Pastor Ron Wedel officiating.  A private burial of ashes will follow at a later date.  Visitation will be held Monday morning at First Congregational Church with the family present to greet friends from 9:30 AM to Service time.  Memorials have been established with First Congregational Church or Artists Helping The Homeless.  Contributions and condolences may be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary who is in charge of these arrangements.


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