Jack Townshend, well-known Interior Singer, dies at 85

FAIRBANKS, Ak -- Long–time Fairbanksan and purveyor of serendipity, Jack Townshend has died at the age of 85.

Townshend was well known in the community for running in the Midnight Sun Run and for singing the National Anthem before Alaska Nanook hockey games and other special events.

In 2009, The University of Alaska Fairbanks renamed a 46–acre research site and Geophysical Observatory after Townshend, who continued his work as a USGS geophysicist until his death.

Townshend was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, but declined chemotherapy treatment so his quality of life was better in his final days.

In June, Townshend told the News Center of his philosophy of life.

"You know, my days are numbered, but I also have a philosophy that a, "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today, the present moment," that I'm being interviewed by you all is a precious gift and it's the only one I have, so I'm going to enjoy that," Townshend said in June.

A memorial is scheduled for Monday, August 20 at 11:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church.