Margie Milner Townsend, age 96, of Lena, Mississippi, entered her eternal rest on Saturday, April 29, 2023, in Bryant, Arkansas. She was born October 28, 1926, in Cash, Mississippi to Benjamin Clifton and Valeria Milner. At the age of 17, she professed her faith in Jesus Christ and was a long-standing member of the Lena Methodist Church.
She was married to Francis “Lewis” Townsend in June 1946 and moved to the community of Lena where she lived for the next nearly 70 years. The love of her life, he preceded her in death on July 29, 1993. Also preceding her in death were her parents, Benjamin and Valeria Parker; sisters Alita Renfroe and Mary Renfroe; brother B.C. Milner Jr; daughter, Frances Gilmore; son-in-law, Homer Collins; and great-grandson David Gilmore.
As a result of her generous spirit and warm personality, she was known and beloved by her community. As a trained beautician, she maintained the Lena Beauty Shop until her retirement. She was known for her cooking and baking skills and was famous for her chocolate pie and coconut cake. Her yard was a place of beauty with a prolific garden. She enjoyed farm life and maintained a large flock of chickens, turkeys, and guineas which were a delight to her visiting nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. With a love for education and literacy, she helped establish the Lena Public Library. She spent months collecting donated books (some covered in dirt and mold), cleaning them, and then painstakingly organized them. She loved nothing more than playing games with her grandchildren, teaching them Rook or Skip-Bo, or completing complex jigsaw puzzles. Following the death of her husband, she undertook the maintenance of the Cash Cemetery, spending countless days scrubbing and restoring headstones and maintaining the graves. Mrs. Townsend was also an active member of the Lena Methodist Church, where she helped organize the church’s “First Friday” meetings for senior citizens. Though wholly dedicated to her community, nothing brought her more joy than family. Her influence will forever remain in the lives of all those who knew her.
Her beautiful life will forever be cherished by her remaining daughter, Iris Collins of Gulfport, MS; son-in-law, Phillip Gilmore of Crossett, AR; sister Minnie Jo Harris (Jerry) of Decatur, MS; 7 grandchildren: Glen Collins (Sue) of Germany, Aimee Eubanks (Barry) of Gulfport, MS, Ginger Brown (Sam) of Houston, TX, Sarah Gilmore of Crossett, AR, Matthew Gilmore of Benton, AR, Jonathan Gilmore (Sheena) of Little Rock, AR, and Benjamin Gilmore of Crossett, AR, 16 great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
A graveside service will be held at 1pm Saturday, May 6, 2023, at Cash Cemetery in Scott County, MS officiated by Phillip Gilmore. Arrangements are by Ott & Lee Funeral Home of Forest, MS.
The family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to Fox Ridge Assisted Living of Bryant, Arkansas.
OTT & LEE Funeral Home of Forest is honored to serve the Margie Townsend family.