FAIRBANKS -- Jack Townshend, well-known in Fairbanks for his positive philosophy of life, has died from cancer at his home. He was 85.
Townshend was born in Brandywine, Md., the 11th of 12 children. His father was a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey, the same federal agency where Townshend would spend his career.
He worked for the USGS on the East Coast for 17 years before transferring in 1963, as chief of the College Observatory on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus.
Before he retired in 2010, he received an honorary doctorate of science degree in 1995 by UAF for "his distinguished and unwavering service" to the university and "optimistic devotion to the Fairbanks community."