Mr. Patrick Leo Townsend
October 30, 1941 ~ September 7, 2010

HOLDEN – Patrick Leo Townsend, 68, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at his home in Holden.

He leaves his wife of 43 years, Joan Elizabeth Gebhardt Townsend; two sons, Michael Joseph and Patrick Brady and his wife Tracey Lee; a sister, Dr. Marilu Townsend, a Maryknoll sister; and two granddaughters, Cassandra Anne and Alexandra Lee.

Patrick was born October 30, 1941 in Keokuk, Iowa to the late William Patrick and Katherine Mary. The son of an army command sergeant major, Patrick grew up all over the United States, as well as two years in Germany. He graduated from the Naval ROTC program at Marquette University in 1963 with a degree in mathematics. He later earned his Master’s degree from the United States Naval Postgraduate School in computer science. Patrick retired as a Major from the Marine Corps after twenty years of dedicated service, including two tours of duty in Vietnam and four years of teaching Navy ROTC at The College of the Holy Cross. He won the Leo A. Codd Award for best ROTC instructor in the US in 1979. He was awarded the Bronze Star with a Combat V for meritorious service, an Army Commendation Medal, a Navy Commendation Medal, and the 1st 8” Howitzer Battery under his command is the only unit in the history of the Marine Corps to win the Army Valorous Unit Award independently.

Once in the private sector, Patrick worked tirelessly for such companies as The Paul Revere, McCormick & Dodge, and UICI as the senior quality advisor. He became a successful international speaker on business quality and leadership, and co-authored nine books and over 450 articles with his wife. Together, they were bi-weekly columnists for the Telegram & Gazette for several years. Patrick was on the original committee to determine criteria for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and became an Examiner. He served the community of Holden as chair of the sewer committee and the school building committee. He was a member of the Dicken’s Fellowship, the O’Callahan Society at Holy Cross, the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Association of the First Corps of Cadets, which honored him in 2006. He was a regular lector at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in West Boylston.

Patrick enjoyed traveling extensively with his family and friends, baking for the Department of Theatre at the College of the Holy Cross, and doting on his granddaughters. He was an exemplary husband, extraordinary father, and devoted grandfather.

Calling hours are from 3 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 12th, in the Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main Street (Rte. 122A), Holden. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 13th, at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, 111 Worcester Street, West Boylston. Burial will follow at the Massachusetts Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Winchendon. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Maryknoll Sisters, Maryknoll Sisters Center, P.O. Box 311, Maryknoll, NY, 10545-0311.

Miles Funeral Home (

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2 Responses to Obituary

  1. robert piette of the 1st 8" howtzer battery-67to68 july says:

    I didn’t know Pat in V.N. because I was on the guns as gunner,almost untill I left in July of 1968. I met Pat for the first time at the renioun in August. And Iam glad that I did. He was very happy go lucky and a very good personatly. I am glad to have met Him. I give you my depest Condolence. Robert W. Piette

  2. Wanda Horton says:

    Pat made the idea of Quality a trademark during his years at UICI. We strove harder to make a difference because of his influence. Thanks for the memories of a regal, Marine who loved his country and this company.

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