Earl C. Townsend, Jr. 92, was born on November 9, 1914 in Indianapolis
to Earl C. Townsend, Sr. and Besse (Kuhn)Townsend.
Over the course of his 92 years, he was a trial lawyer, a collector
of Indian relics, automobiles, and fine art. He was a basketball star
in high school and college, the first
television announcer for the Indianapolis 500, a Big Ten basketball referee, and a composer and
actor. Mr. Townsend worked as a trial lawyer with his brother, John,
at the downtown Indianapolis law firm, Townsend and Townsend, which
they established in 1940 upon their graduation from the University
of Michigan Law School.
He served as a senior partner there from 1941 to present. He loved
to work in his yard, hunt, fish and vacation during the summer at his
cottage in Michigan. He was a pioneer in the field of representing
injured people during his long and illustrious legal career.
One of Townsend's passions led him to accomplish writing a 740-page
book entitled Birdstones of the North American Indian, as well as having
one of the largest and best collections of prehistoric stone Indian
artifacts. This effort was acknowledged by the Black River-Swan Creek
Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, who made him an honorary chief in 1971.
He was given the name of Senee Pen Eshee Na Na, which means "Birdstone
Mr. Townsend attended DePauw University, and graduated from the University
of Michigan. He was a member of the Indiana Bar and Michigan Bar, and
served on the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals, the U.S.
District Court of Indiana, Virginia, Connecticut, and Michigan. He
served as the Marion County Deputy Prosecutor from 1942-1944, and had
been a radio-TV announcer on WIRE, WFBM, and WFBM-TV.
Mr. Townsend had been a lecturer of trial tactics at Notre Dame University,
Indiana University, and the University of Michigan. He was chairman
of faculty of seminars on personal injury trials at Indiana University
School of Law, Notre Dame School of Law, and Valparaiso School of Law.
Mr. Townsend had served as a member of the Committee to Revise Indiana
Supreme Court Pattern Jury Instructions. He had been a lecturer at
the Trial Lawyers Institute and counsel to the attorney general from
1988-1992, and also served as the editor of the American Association
of Trial Lawyers American Journal from 1964-1988. He contributed articles
to legal and archeological journals. Mr. Townsend was the composer
of a waltz entitled, "Moon of Halloween". He had served as
a trustee of Cathedral High School, the Eiteljorg Museum of American
Indiana and Western Art, the Cale J. Holder Scholarship Fund, and the
Indiana University Law School. Mr. Townsend was also a life trustee,
member of the board of directors, member of the financial and building
committees of the Indianapolis Museum of Art; a life trustee of the
Indiana State Museum; founder and director of the Meridian Street Foundation;
member of the Dean's Counsel at Indiana University; founder and life
fellow of the Roscoe PoundAmerican Trial Lawyers Foundation at Harvard
University; a fellow of the Methodist Hospital Foundation, and recipient
of the Indiana University Writers Conference Award in 1960. He also
received the Hanson H. Anderson medal of honor from Arsenal Technical
High School in 1971. and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002. He was
named to Council of Sagamores of the Wabash in 1969, and was named
a Rector Scholar in 1934. Mr. Townsend was inducted into the Indiana
Basketball Hall of Fame in 1981. He was a fellow of the Indiana Bar
Foundation, where he was a life trustee and received a distinguished
fellow award; a member of the International Society of Barristers and
the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He was also a member of
the ATLA, ABA, ASCAP, the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association, Bar Association
of the 7th Federal Circuit, 34th Judicial Circuit Bar Association,
the Roscommon County Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan, where
he received the Champion of Justice Award in 1989, the American Judicature
Society, the American Arbitration Association, the American Board of
Trial Advocates, the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, the Indianapolis
Bar Foundation, and the Indiana State Bar Association. He was also
a member of the Genuine Indian Relic Society, the Trowel and Brush
Society, the Marion CountyIndianapolis Historical Society, the Indiana
Historical Society, the Society of Mayflower Descendents, the Columbia
Club, the University of Michigan Presidents Club, Key Biscayne Yacht
Club, the Players Club, and the University of Michigan Victors Club.
Mr. Townsend was also a Shriner, 33 degree Mason, a member of the Scottish
Rite, Phi Kappa Phi, Delta Kappa Epsilon. He was active in the Republican
Party, and was also a member of Meridian Street United Methodist Church.
Mr. Townsend was preceded in death by his wife of 41 years, Emily
(Macnab) Townsend, and his brother, John F. Townsend. He is survived
by his five children, Starr Emily Townsend, Vicki Townsend, Julia Dunn
(Edward Goodrich Dunn, Jr.), Earl C. Towsend III (Dr. Nancy Johnson),
and Clyde Townsend (Mrs. Rebecca Townsend) and 15 grandchildren.
The family wishes to thank all of their father's caregivers for all
of the care and support other the years. HAIL TO THE VICTORS! Family
and friends are invited to attend funeral services on Thursday, August
9, 2007 at 1 p.m. at Meridian Street United Methodist Church, 5500
N. Meridian Street. Rev. Anne M. Rosebrock will officiate. Private
burial will follow at Crown Hill Cemetery. Memorial contributions may
be made to Arsenal Technical High School, DePauw University, or Meridian
Street United Methodist Church. Arrangements are under the direction
of Flanner & Buchanan Funeral Center—Broad Ripple.