August 14, 2018

Mr. Bob Townley

1711444_profile_picMr. Robert (Bob) Grant Townley, a larger than life friend to many, was born in 1935 to parents Robert Montgomery Townley and Marjorie Miles Townley in their Jackson, Michigan home.

After skipping a grade, he graduated from Jackson High School at the age of 17 and then went to Michigan State University, where he played football.

Foolishly, he also played the semi-pro football team in Jackson, Michigan, breaking NCAA rules and he also worked for Hayes Industries, making him a part-time student and thus set himself up to be drafted by the US ARMY in 1958.

He met a nursing student, Marion Olson from Rapid River, Michigan at a soda shop and they married on January 18, 1958. Bob immediately left for Korea and served for two years, stationed along the DMZ.

Upon arrival back in the states, Bob finished his Army career at Fort Carson, Colorado, attaining the rank of Sergeant First Class. He, his wife, and new born daughter, Terri Lynne, moved to Carrollton, Georgia during the summer of 1961 where he attended West Georgia College.

He received a dual degree in Political Science and History in 1964 and served as one of two security guards on campus during those years. He was also very active with Student Government and Circle K (the college affiliate of the Kiwanis Club).

Bob then studied at the University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa where he worked on his Master’s Degree in Political Science. He returned to Carrollton and West Georgia College in 1965, becoming an Instructor of History.

A year later he accepted the position of Plant Director for the college, where he served until his retirement in 1994. While in Carrollton, his two sons, Robert Christopher and Michael Jon were born in 1964 and 1966 respectively.

In 1970, Bob attended the Atlanta Law School, graduating and earning a Juris Doctorate in June of 1973. He decided to remain at West Georgia College instead of practicing law. In 1978, he coached the West Georgia College Golf Team.

Bob was not as politically motivated as his parents, who helped begin the Carroll County Republican Party, but he had very strong feelings about those who would be elected locally. Congressman Newt Gingrich always told his daughter, Terri, that Bob gave him his first campaign contribution.

It was also around this time that Bob began taking flying lessons at the West Georgia Regional Airport. He was very proud to have earned his pilot’s license and enjoyed his time flying in his Cessna 172.

From the 1970s through the early 1990’s, Bob brought his love of the Old West to many school children, civic organizations and various other groups throughout the state of Georgia and Alabama. He dressed as a gunfighter and had an exquisite collection of weapons from the late 1800’s that he brought with him to all his talks.

As an amateur Old West historian, Bob brought the Old West to life for many people with tales of that era, which was not often taught in school. He always enjoyed the interaction with the community and especially with children!

FOOTBALL was Bob’s great love, besides his family! Bob, along with the help of other civic-minded people started the West Georgia Youth Football League that incorporated teams from the West Georgia region along with Eastern Alabama. His love of football saw him earn his high school referee’s license, which allowed him to travel through the State of Georgia to officiate high school football games. He was also part of the chain crew for all of West Georgia’s Division III games.

Bob was known to line the football fields for Central High, Carrollton High, and West Georgia College games. His love of football passed to his sons, Chris and Mike, who played for Central and Carrollton respectively, and then with Chris going on to play for the United States Military Academy, which made Bob very proud! Bob, through the Kiwanis Club also helped institute the Kiwanis Bowl, an annual three-day football bowl extravaganza and money maker for the community.

Bob also valued the honor he achieved in 2012 at the Georgia Dome for his service as a football official. He stood with fellow referee Jimmy Stokes and past WGC Coach Bobby Pate for their achievements to football in the State of Georgia!

The West Georgia community benefitted greatly from Bob’s passion for football. In addition to expanding the opportunities for West Georgia’s youth to compete, he was instrumental in bringing football back to West Georgia College, his alma mater.

Bob travelled throughout the Southeast, investigating the football programs of several colleges and universities. In 1980, after exhaustive study, Bob, along with his friend Bill Martin, authored “Operation Pigskin,” a blueprint for bringing football back to West Georgia College.

West Georgia College President, Maurice Townsend eventually blessed the report and brought football back to West Georgia College.  The West Georgia College Braves inaugural season in Division III was 1981. The following year they made the Division III playoffs and won the National Championship with Bob Townley proudly standing on the sidelines with Coach Bobby Pate.

Bob Townley’s love of community and sense of service was manifested in his actions. After his affiliation with Circle K in college, he joined the Carrollton Kiwanis Club in 1966. Bob’s Presidency in 1976 saw the admittance of the first African American, Leroy Childs, into the Carrollton Kiwanis Club. He loved his community involvement.

After serving locally, he won the position of Lieutenant Governor of Kiwanis in Georgia and created ten new Kiwanis chapters in the state.

Upon retirement, Bob and Marion moved to Hot Springs Village, Arkansas in 1997. They settled in a wonderful golf course community and enjoyed the comradery of like-minded duffers. Bob was always on the course making new friends!

In 2001, Bob and Marion decided to move back to Georgia to be nearer to family. They once again settled in a golf course community where Bob was quite active. He loved marshalling various golf tournaments and especially took pride in being a volunteer for the American Junior Golf Association Tournament held at the Windstone Golf Club.

Bob and Marion also traveled extensively, visiting many wonderful historic sites after his retirement.

Bob Townley was “A MAN’S MAN! Many referred to Bob as “Bullet Bob,” or “Boss Hogg!” The names were appropriate! He shot straight and you always knew where you stood with him. He was the BOSS! He was an extremely loyal friend and was always available to help both family and friends, regardless of circumstances. He loved his family, his friends, football, golf, his country, and West Georgia College!

He was preceded in this life by his youngest child, Michael Jon Townley, his parents, Robert M. and Marjorie Townley, and his older sister, Nancy Pender (Verle).

He is survived by his younger sister, Marilyn Fletcher (Bennie), wife, Marion Townley, daughter, Terri Deem (Brent), and son Chris Townley (Gosia), grandchildren, Michelle Deem, Ryan Deem, Lauren Deem, Emily Townley, Nicholas Townley, Kayla Townley Bancroft and Trey Townley, and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be at Almon Funeral Home and Chapel in Carrollton, GA on December 28, 2015 from 2 pm until 4 pm. A Memorial Service will be held in Almon Chapel at 4 pm following visitation with Dr. Keith Runels officiating.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, family and friends make a donation to their favorite charity or to the West Georgia Youth Football League, P.O. Box 532 Carrollton, GA 30112   Attn: Ken Farmer

Messages of condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.almonfuneralhome.com.

Almon Funeral Home of Carrollton has charge of arrangements.

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