Dr. Merrill Townley, 78, dies; served in Missouri legislature for 20 years
By staff writer
Dr. Merrill M. Townley, 78 of Chamois, died on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, at the University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia.
He was born Sept. 12, 1934, on the family farm near Chamois which has been in the family since 1832. He was born in the house where he later raised his family and where he lived until the house burned on July 28, 2012. He was the son of Moses William and Hanna Augusta (Wiele) Townley.
He graduated from the University of Missouri- Columbia in 1960 with a BS degree in Agriculture and from the University of Missouri-Columbia’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1963 with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
He was united in marriage to Norma Jean Pardun of Gilman City, Mo., on July 20, 1963.
Mr. Townley raised hogs and cattle as he worked his way through college and continued to raise cattle as he practiced veterinary medicine throughout his career in Osage, Gasconade, Cole, Miller, Callaway, Moniteau, Montgomery and Maries Counties.
His military service began with his enlistment in the Army Reserve in 1957. He served in the field artillery and as the state veterinarian for the Missouri National Guard where he conducted food inspection for Guard posts in the state. He also participated in Medical missions to Guatemala and Bolivia. He completed a total of 24 years in the Army Reserves and retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Dr. Townley served in the Missouri Legislature as a State Representative for 20 years during the period of 1982 to 2004.
His dedication to the greater good of society was demonstrated through his leadership in organizations such as the Chamois Lions Club, Osage County Ambulance Board, Chamois School Board, Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, MFA, Missouri Farm Bureau, American Legion, and the Osage County Historical Society.
Survivors include his wife of 49 years; his three children and their spouses; and his 12 grandchildren.
Visitation was Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Chamois High School Gymnasium.
An additional visitation was held Monday, Nov. 12, at the Fairgrounds Road Church of Christ located in Jefferson City where funeral services was held at 11:00 a.m.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to Fairgrounds Road Church of Christ, Townley Cemetery Fund, or the Dr. Merrill Townley Scholarship Fund.
Arrangements are under the direction of Morton Chapel, Chamois, MO. (763-5522)