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Judith E. Townley

November 23, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
Judith E. Townley - Submitted photo

Judith E. (Van Houten) Townley of Hot Springs, Ark., formerly of Fort Smith, Ark., passed away Nov. 20, 2022.

She was born in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Jan. 23, 1947, to Benjamin and Johannah Van Houten. Judith was a graduate of Grand Rapids Christian High and Michigan State University. Judith was a teacher for 30 years, teaching both first and fourth grades and music. She began her teaching career in Livonia, Mich., and then taught overseas with the DOD schools in Bermuda, Japan, Philippines and Germany. She then moved to Puerto Rico, where her husband taught for two years, while she stayed home with her children. She then continued her teaching career in the states, teaching mostly music in Fort Smith, Ark., as well as private piano. She loved her students and enjoyed sharing her love of music, whether in the classroom, teaching choir or putting on programs in her schools and various churches. She loved to sing and joined every church choir she could, as she and Jim moved around. She was a member of Hot Springs United Methodist Church and the Saints and Sinners Sunday School class, since they moved to Hot Springs in 2010.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her fraternal twin, James Edward; and her sister, Janet Walters.

Survivors include her husband of 52 years, Jim of Hot Springs; her two sons, Joshua (Lacey) Townley of Fort Smith, Dr. Jonathan (Genevieve) Townley of Hot Springs; and her five grandchildren, Brody and Brenna Townley of Hot Springs and Alexandra, Lainey and Asher Townley of Fort Smith. She is survived by her two sisters, Joan Elzinga and Muriel Kolk (Fritz); and brother, Ben (Sharron) Van Houten, all of Grand Rapids, Mich.; and her brother-in-law, Rod (Connie) Townley of Fort Smith; as well as many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Judith's life will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at First United Methodist Church, with a reception to follow. Burial will be 1:30 p.m. at Crestview Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the First United Methodist Church of Hot Springs, Ark., or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Online guest register at http://www.

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