Dorothy R. Townsend of Townsend Energy Dies at 100


Dorothy R. Townsend, who worked for Townsend Energy for more than 65 years, died Dec. 18 at her home in Beverly Farms, Mass. She was 100 years old.

Townsend worked first with her husband, John Warren Townsend, and then with her sons, helping to build Townsend Energy, a full-service fuel marketer based in Danvers, Mass. She was named Woman of the Year by the Massachusetts Oil Heat Council in 1994 and was honored as a “Legend of Oil Heat” in 1998 by the New England Fuel Institute.

Born in Salem, she was the daughter of Peter Jerome and Ellen T. McElroy. She attended the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur St. James High School from 1932 to 1936 and then went on to attend the Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School in Boston, graduating in 1939.

Townsend spent eight years working for the federal government in Boston before going to work with her parents and sisters at her father’s store, Peter J. McElroy Package Store in Salem, Mass., and for Townsend Energy. Altogether, her working career spanned more than 70 years.

She lived for almost 60 years in Beverly Farms, where she and her husband raised four children, and where she a parishioner of St. Margaret Parish.


She is survived by two daughters, Ellen T. Freeman of San Antonio, Texas, and Mary Lou Townsend of Salem, Mass.; two sons, James P. Townsend of Beverly Farms, and Mark J. Townsend of Wenham, Mass.; as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband. They were married 49 years.

A mass will be celebrated on Thursday, Jan. 10 in St. Margaret’s Church, 672 Hale Street, Beverly Farms at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Visiting hours at the Campbell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot Street, Beverly, Mass., will be on Wednesday, Jan. 9, from 3-8 p.m. Interment will be in the Beverly Farms Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to St. Jude Research Hospital at 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or Care Dimensions at 75 Sylvan Street, Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923. For information, directions, and to offer condolences, visit

This obituary is based on information provided by the Energy Marketers Association of New Hampshire.


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