Thursday, February 25, 2021

Leland “Dale” Townzen (1936-2014)

Townzen Obit Photo (2)Longtime Colusa resident, educator, coach and community volunteer Leland “Dale” Townzen died on October 30, 2014.   Dale was born on December 2, 1936. He was one of five children of Jack and Norma Townzen.

After graduating from Colusa High School, Dale received his Bachelor’s degree in Education from Chico State. He went on to teach in Colusa for a short time, then was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served our country for two years in Puerto Rico. Upon returning from Puerto Rico, Dale continued his education at Chico State. During this period, he also began to date Peggy Baker, whom he would marry on June 20, 1964 and would go on to be married to for over 50 years.

Dale’s career teaching and coaching allowed him to express two of his main passions – athletics and helping local area youth. He would go on to teach and coach within the Colusa Unified School District for 40 years and Yuba College for many years. Even after retiring from full-time teaching in 1999, Dale continued to coach and tutor Colusa youth. Although he coached several sports during his career, Dale had a lifelong love of basketball, which he coached for almost 50 years locally at every level from youth league to High School and Special Olympics. His coaching accomplishments led to many honors and awards, including the receipt of a CIF North Section Lifetime Pass in 2011. In honor of his contribution to the development of local youth throughout his career, Dale was inducted into the Colusa County Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

Dale had many other interests beyond teaching and coaching. As a musician, his booming bass voice could often be heard in local choirs, as a worship leader at the First Presbyterian Church of Colusa, and for many years as a member of a barbershop quartet. He developed a love of banjo music and spent many hours during recent years learning to play. As an artist, he had a passion for photography and enjoyed spending time photographing local wildlife at the Colusa Wildlife Refuge. In retirement, Dale loved spending time gardening and traveling with Peggy.

Dale was heavily involved in the First Presbyterian Church of Colusa, where he served as an elder. He also spent numerous hours volunteering with community organizations, such as the Colusa County Friends of the Library, the Twin Cities Rescue Mission and Habitat for Humanity.

Dale was preceded in death by his father Jack, mother Norma and sister Verlyn. He is survived by his wife Peggy; brothers Vic (Katie) and Ken (Bonnie); sister Margaret (Gary) Sivley; sons, Darren (Julie) and Patrick (Jaime); daughter Cammie (Rob); grandchildren Paige Townzen, Alek Simpson, Mollie Townzen, Sophie Simpson, Danielle Townzen and Karalyn Townzen.

A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at 2:00 PM on November 8, 2014 at the First Presbyterian Church of Colusa. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Twin Citites Rescue Mission, Special Olympics or First Presbyterian Church of Colusa.

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