Michael L. Townsend

Hornell / Arkport

Michael L. “Mike” Townsend – 71 – formerly of Arkport and Williamsville, NY, passed away Monday morning (November 20, 2023) at his home.

Born in Kenmore, NY on April 8, 1952, he was the son of Richard and Marguerite (Thompson) Townsend.

Mike was a 1970 graduate of Sweet Home High School in Amherst, NY. He graduated from Buffalo State College in 1974 with a Fine Arts Degree, and in 1979 earned his Master’s Degree in Art Education. Mike taught in Niagara Falls at LaSalle High School and NF High School for two years before acquiring his teaching position at Lewiston-Porter School District in Youngstown, NY. He taught there from 1976 until his retirement in 2011.

While at Lew-Port, Mike taught general art before developing a program in Photography. Affectionately known as “T” by his students, he went on to teach Advanced Placement in Photography. He served as Art Department Chair, Union Steward, and Union President during his tenure at L-P. Mike also coached the Girls Gymnastics Team and both the Boys and Girls Tennis Teams. Mike was an adjudicator for NYS Summer School for Media Arts Teachers’ Association and a facilitator for Art Exhibition at the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University. He was a supervisor of student teachers in the Art Education Department of area colleges. Mike is listed in Who’s Who in American Teachers.

In summers while off from school, Mike was a tour guide for Over-the-Falls Tours for many years, and in his retirement, served as adjudicator for the Erie County Fair Photography entries for four years. Many pieces of Mike’s personal photography are displayed at the MGM Grand Signature Suites in Las Vegas. He also enjoyed playing guitar and keyboard in a band for 33 years.

Mike was a member of the Arkport Branch of the Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research and enjoyed his brethren there, especially his brother in the faith, Lionel vanMonsjou.

In addition to his parents, Mike was preceded in death by his sister, Dawn Degman.

Mike is survived by his wife, Marianne (Racalto) Townsend; one son, Kyle (Kathryn) Townsend; daughters, Kecia (Corey) Nicholson and Katie (Bill) Bonczar of; 3 grandchildren, Barrett Nicholson, Liam & Makenna Bonczar; step-grandchildren, Rachel, Kyle, Nicholas, & Anthony; brother-in-law, Gene Degman; many in-laws, cousins, and his beloved Nutmeg.

To honor Mike’s wishes, there will be no calling hours. A “Celebration of Life” will be held on Saturday, December 9, 2023 at 12:00 Noon at the Hornell Golf Club, 473 Seneca Road, North Hornell, NY. Another “Celebration of Life” will be held on Monday December 11, 2023 from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the Kenan Center, 433 Locust St., Lockport, NY.

Funeral arrangements are in care of the Dagon Funeral Home, 38 Church Street, Hornell, NY.

Mike’s family requests that, in lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by visiting www.stjude.org in memory of Michael L. Townsend or to the Kenan Center online.

To leave an online condolence or share a memory, please visit www.dagonfuneralhome.com or www.facebook.com/dagonfuneralhome.

3 Responses to “Michael L. Townsend”

  1. Mary Ann Trenkler says:

    Marianne I am so sorry about your husband. You are in my thoughts and prayers

  2. Kim Clifford Wood says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss Marianne and family My prayers and condolences to you .

  3. David Parkhill says:

    Mike, Mr T, was my very first ever photography teacher at Lew Port. His passion and encouragement has kept my creativity with photography going to this very day. He was an outstanding teacher and I have thought of him often. God bless Mr T and I “look closer” thanks to you.

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