Saturday, December 03, 2022


Helen (Byrne) Townsend


Helen (Byrne) Townsend, 96, of Guilford, died peacefully on June 12 at Connecticut Hospice surrounded by her loving family. Helen was born on Oct. 2, 1925, in Jersey City, N.J., the daughter of the late Luke A. and Anna (Kelly) Byrne.

Helen grew up in Jersey City and graduated from St. Aloysius High School. She worked in New York City at AT&T. In 1950, she married John P. Townsend and raised her family in Spring Lake, N.J. She moved to warmer weather in New Bern, N.C., before moving to Solstice Senior Living nine years ago.

Helen’s greatest love in her life was her family. She loved being with her daughters and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She enjoyed traveling to Bermuda, with John, family trips to Duck, N.C., and visits with her family. She found joy in dancing, walks on the boardwalk and socializing with her friends. Helen was a devout Roman Catholic.

In addition to her parents, she is predeceased by her husband of 61 years, John P. Townsend; her brother Francis X. Byrne; and her son-in-law David G. Palmgren.

Helen is survived by her four daughters: Colleen McCormick and husband, Thomas D. of Madison, Carolyn Rafferty and husband James of Rochester Hills, M.I., Cynthia Palmgren of Holden, MA and Christine Abbott and husband, Edward of Leesburg, Va.; and her brother-in-law, Robert Townsend and wife Linda of Mt. Pleasant, S.C.. She was the much-loved Grandma to Kerry, Alyson, Jimmy, Meaghan, Caitlin, Courtney, Maura, Matthew, Sarah, Katie, Zachary, Andrew, Eimile and Elizabeth. She was also the “GG” of 18 great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held on June 18 at St. George Catholic Church, 33 Whitfield St., Guilford. Burial will be at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in New Bern, N.C., beside her husband John. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Connecticut Hospice, 100 Double Beach Road, Branford, CT 06405.

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