Ruth (Lynch) Townsend
March 29, 1925
March 28, 2023
On Tuesday morning, March 28, 2023, one day shy of her 98th birthday anniversary, at Kruse Retirement Village in Brenham, Texas, Ruth Townsend quietly departed this earthly life for complete life in the nearer presence of her and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. On March 29, 1925, in Port Arthur, Texas, Ruth Eileen Lynch was born to Robert Emmett and Lou Vic Tunis Lynch. She was baptized into Christ's Church at Methodist Temple there in Port Arthur, a parish of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. She later graduated from Port Arthur Jefferson High School. From her birthplace she went to Vanderbilt University in Nashville for a year's study at Mary Kirkland Hall but decided to return to Texas to pursue what she had begun, ministry as a nurse, at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston, in which city she met a young medical student, Rex George Fuller, Jr., born in Charleston but reared in Houston. They were married on June 18, 1951, at St George's Episcopal Church in Port Arthur, and shortly thereafter moved to El Paso where Rex interned and she worked with another register nurse in Dr. Celso Stapp's office in obstetrics, a quiet refuge after her experience at John Sealy earlier when the hospital received many who had suffered in the Texas City disaster.
Ruth and Rex soon made their home in Waller, where he opened his first practice, during which time their first two children were born in Hempstead and Ruth was confirmed and received into the Episcopal Church by Bishop Clinton S. Quin. She and Rex were then communicants of St Bartholomew's Church, Hempstead. Although Waller would hold a special place in Ruth's heart and both were happy there, in the mid '50s Rex joined the practice of Youens & Cummins in Weimar, where their other two children were born and where the family worshipped at First Methodist Church. In Weimar, Ruth was active in teaching Sunday school and serving as a leader of the Brownie Scouts and various civic organizations, such as PTA. This sort of fulfilling spiritual and civic duties she carried out as well in Bellville (and later in Brenham) when, at the suggestion of Rex's classmate from medical school, Dr. Winston B. Neely, Rex moved the family in the summer of 1971 to Bellville, where he continued to practice medicine until he began an office practice at the Brenham State School, of which he was medical director up till the time of his death on May 16, 1988. In Bellville the family was active in the life of St Mary's Episcopal Church, and on moving to Brenham, she and Rex became similarly active members of St Peter's Church.
After Rex's death, the Lord brought together Ruth and retired Col. Robert Turrentine Townsend; they were married in St Peter's Church but chose to live in Robert's house in Weimar, as members of St James Episcopal Church, La Grange. After selling their house there, they moved for a season to Bryan and became active in St Andrew's Church, till they both moved back to Brenham, settling into a duplex at Kruse Retirement Village, rejoining St Peter's. Until Robert's death in January 6, 2013, they lived in several locations within Kruse Village. Before a fall that damaged her pelvis, confining her to bed and chair, when she could leave the Village, she worshipped with her son-in-law and daughter, the Kieckes, at First Methodist Church in Brenham. After she could no longer be comfortably taken out of her home, she was ministered to with the other residents by ministers who visit Kruse regularly. In October of 2021, she was formally received in absentia, her son standing in, into the Reformed Episcopal Church/Anglican Church in North America, by Suffragan Bishop Banek, at St. Barnabas's Church, Bellville, as a member of which she was at the time of her passing.
In all these matters of her long life, almost having reached the age of her mother, who had died at the age of 98 and one half years, to her loving family her greatest gift to them was the faithful example she set as a Christian wife and mother. Although in the latter half of his life, particularly after the move to Bellville, Rex returned to a most fervent faith in and an equally fervent dedication to serving Our Lord. In the early days Ruth took on the responsibility for her children's spiritual growth. Her beloved stepsons said that when she entered the Townsend family, it was she who truly pulled them together as a family. What a blest legacy she has left for us, who follow in her footsteps as we, too, approach the time when each of us shall join her forever in the Kingdom of Heaven.
She was preceded in death by her mother and father, her stepfather Gilchrist Shaw McKay, her half- brother Cyril Clayton Juda, her sister Beulah Jane Lynch Rouse Zatopek, her first husband Dr. Rex Fuller, her second husband Col. Townsend, her granddaughter Mary Lynch Fuller Hintzel and son-in-law Dr. Robert Schaer Stark.
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law Bill and Kathy Fuller of Bellville, her daughters and sons-in-law Kathleen and George Jones and Libby and Val Kiecke, all of Brenham, and daughter Beth Stark of Chappell Hill, and her step sons and their wives Col. (ret.) James and Linda Townsend and Lt. Col. (ret.) David and Sandy Townsend (all of Valraico, Florida); her grandchildren and their spouses Adam and Lauren Kiecke of Brenham, Aaron and Elizabeth Kiecke of Austrin, Rachel and Clif Wilson of Houston, Wesley Jones of Brenham, Jenny and Ross Bradfield of Brenham, Martin and Meghan Fuller of Irving, Julianna and Tyler Wanek, Elizabeth Anne Stark, and Robert and Alli Stark, all of Brenham; step grandchildren Lt. Col. Ginger Norris and her family of Alexandria, Virginia, and June Kuypers and her family of Orlando, Florida; great grandchildren Perry Lynch Hintzel, Nicholas Allen Bradfield, Olivia Eileen Bradfield, Anthony Philip Bradfield, Holly Madeleine Bradfield, Eva Jane Fuller, Rex Thomas Fuller, Mary Lyra Fuller, Maude Olivia Fuller, Frances Grace Kiecke, Isla Margaret Kiecke, June Olivia Kiecke, Patton Everett Kiecke, Emmett Howard Kiecke, Elliot Anne Wilson, Marian Claire Wilson Theodore Rex Wanek, and Ginger and June’s children.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 10 a.m. at St. Barnabas Anglican Church, 237 West Austin St., Bellville, TX 77418. Interment will follow in Oak Knoll Cemetery, Bellville.
Memorials are suggested to St. Barnabas Anglican Church.
Services are in the care of Brenham Memorial Chapel, 2300 Stringer St., Brenham, TX 77833. 979836.3611 Tributes may be shared at www.brenhammemorialchapel.com.