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Joel Townsend

July 2, 1934 ~ October 4, 2020 (age 86)


Joel Townsend, age 86, of Ten Mile passed away on Sunday October 4th, 2020. He was born in Roane County and moved to Oak Ridge as a young man  where he started working.

He started his career working at ORNL in Oak Ridge and left there in 1967 to start his own successful company TASCO Inc., Tool and Specimen company based in Oak Ridge. He worked frequently with Dr. Herb McCoy to secure contracts with ORNL through his company TASCO, they were friends as well as successful business partners working together on projects which also included real estate investments. He retired at the age of 50 to enjoy the good life.

He moved with his wife Polly to their home on the lake in Ten Mile. He loved life on the lake, the beauty and peace it offered him every day.

After retiring he and Polly enjoyed traveling all over the world to England, Spain, Canada, Mexico, France, Italy, took numerous cruises and traveled the US extensively including Hawaii, those were some of the best times of his life, the joy of adventure and exploring the world.

One of his most favorite trips was to Pompeii to see the ruins, that was a fascinating trip to him, to be able to tour the site and hear the history. He talked a lot after he got back about how amazing it was to see and how sophisticated the people were in their ingenuity so long ago.

He white water rafted down the Grand Canyon, took multiple trips to Canada to fish on a remote lake with good friends where they were brought in by private plane and left for a week to fish their hearts out, hunted pheasant in the Dakotas, he lived life to its fullest never wanting to waste an opportunity to take advantage of what life had to offer.

He loved to RV and did so frequently with close friends to Florida and Hunting Island South Carolina, all of them sitting around a fire at night talking and laughing together. Those were always great trips for him, he loved the outdoors and his dear friends.

Golf was his passion in life, he played for many many years every chance he got including twice weekly up until he no longer could. He loved the competition of the sport, he was a fierce competitor with his golf buddies and his weekly golf games kept him going. He enjoyed fishing on the lake, boating, riding his motorcycle and being outside on a beautiful day sitting in his lounge chair with his beloved dog Corkey.

Joel was preceded in death by his parents Jessie and Paul Townsend, sister Barbara McCoy and brother Donald Townsend.

He is survived by his wife Polly Townsend; daughters Tanya Ketterman (David), Terrie Adams (John), Debbie Hamilton, Martha Townsend; grandchildren, Trent Johnson, Corey Johnson (Kayla), Brett Johnson, Austin Johnson; Michelle Philippi, Megan Philippi; great grandchildren Conner, Ava; sister Vada West (Jim).

His daughter Tanya writes “Dad was larger than life, he was the central figure in our family and his loss is profound, he leaves a huge hole that can never be filled. He will be missed dearly, loved always and most importantly never forgotten. I will always remember his laughter and his sense of humor, he was one of a kind, he was and is my Dad. There won’t ever be a sunny day from now on that I won’t think about him sitting outside in his lounge chair with his dog loving the simple joy of a beautiful day at the lake.”

A private celebration of life service will be held to honor his life, an online register book can be signed at If you would like to honor the memory of Joel Townsend the family request that you make a contribution of food or a warm blanket to any animal shelter.  Fraker Funeral Home of Kingston is in charge of all the arrangements.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joel Townsend, please visit our floral store.


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