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Brad Richard Townsend
November 19, 1954
31 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Brad's family - View on Tribute Wall
Brad Townsend, age 68, passed away peacefully on September 27, 2023, surrounded by his loving family.
Brad was born in Minnesota in 1954 to Jean Smith Townsend and Charles Townsend. Like any other kid growing up in the sixties, he was completely taken by the race to space and the machines that take us there.
“My earliest memory is still crystal clear. I was seated on five pillows, flying right seat with my Father. He was a little upset with his five-year-old son, who was always found sleeping when not manning the controls. That early exposure to flying from Crystal Airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota did not dim my desire to be around airplanes, it defined my life.” (Brad Townsend, 2013)
Brad quickly grabbed on to the throttle of life after being delivered his draft number for the Vietnam War, which would end just before he could be put into service. In his twenties, Brad quickly achieved his A&P license, Private Pilot License, and worked his way into an avionics engineering program where he learned from the best and brightest at the time – NASA engineers. He earned an opportunity to work in Honeywell’s D&E (Development & Engineering) lab where he focused on SR-71 air data computers, laser gyros, and many other projects.
He took these early lessons and applied them to an impactful career in corporate aviation maintenance. One of his greatest honors was serving as chairman of the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) Maintenance Committee and leading NBAA’s Project Bootstrap initiative, leaving an imprint on the next generation of professionals. He loved his colleagues and family alike. To him, life was a gift that was meant to be lived doing what you love and doing it with all your might.
In his downtime, Brad enjoyed singing with his best friend, building bonfires, exploring ideas and places endlessly, talking about religion and spirituality, going to sci-fi movies with his son, watching the Minnesota Vikings (painfully), and always pointed to the stars when he spotted the Hubble Telescope. He was absolutely adored by his grandchildren - they called him Pops.
Brad inspired and influenced countless people, cared genuinely, held firm to his principles, and was deeply loved by so many.
He is survived by his wife, Patricia Townsend; his daughter, Tara Avidar (Alan); his son, Aron Townsend (Kate); his grandchildren, Estelle, Luke, and Charlie; his beloved godmother, Mary Jane Smith… And his Corteva family, DuPont family, Sprint family, American Express family, and Honeywell family.
Funeral service will be private and at the discretion of the family.