Tributes paid to family man

dws pic golden townend'Eric and Kathleen Townend celebrating their Golden Wedding. (120542)
dws pic golden townend'Eric and Kathleen Townend celebrating their Golden Wedding. (120542)

A much-loved husband, father and grandad of six, well known in bowling circles and the local Methodist community, has died.

Eric Townend, son of Abraham and Ethel May Townend, died aged 87 at his home in Heaton Avenue, Earlsheaton on Sunday evening.

He met his wife Kath when they were both members of Earlsheaton Methodist Church. The young couple were both involved in church life, singing in the choir together. They married at the church in 1954.

Mr Townend was an accomplished piano-accordion player and won national competitions, being described as a ‘boy wonder’ in newspaper reports.

He was also a wicket-keeper for his church team. Mrs Townend said: “He used to tell me that he never missed a catch.”

Later in life Mr Townend was secretary of the veterans section of Earlsheaton Park Bowls Club.

His daughter Jill Archer said: “He was a very hands-on grandad – he taught four of his grandsons to play the piano.”

Mr Townend was diagnosed with prostate cancer five years ago. He leaves behind three of his four children and six grandchildren.

The committal will be at Dewsbury Crematorium at 10.30am on Monday followed by a celebration of Mr Townend’s life at Longcauseway United Reformed Church at 11.15am.