BRIDGEWATER – Helyn Acosta Townsend, of Bridgewater, passed away peacefully at Mountain Ridge Center in Franklin, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, having been a loving inspiration to many family members and friends. Helyn's exuberance and vivacity during her active lifetime go beyond words. Helyn was born on Sept. 27, 1923, in Selma, Ala., the fifth of seven children born to Francis Joseph Acosta and Marie (Yale) Acosta, and was the last surviving child of this union. She was much beloved by the Acosta family, the Townsend family and many close friends. Helyn was predeceased by her husband of 68 years, John Burnett Townsend; and her son, Bradford Field Townsend. She is survived by her daughter, Lisabeth Carol Townsend; and her daughter-in-law, Sandie (Kuo) Townsend; and many nieces and nephews. Helyn served in World War II
as a Navy WAVES. Helyn was one of the first seven WAVES to be assigned as flight orderlies for the Naval Air Transport Service. After serving honorably from Sept. 7, 1944 to April 4, 1946, Helyn received the decorations American Campaign Medal and World War II Victory Medal. Upon completing military service, Helyn (Acosta) Townsend married John Burnett Townsend in Washington, DC. Following the marriage, the couple returned to New England to raise their family, first residing in Wellesley, Mass. and later in Manchester, Vt. When the children reached high school age, Helyn began a career at Windigo Travel Service, in Manchester, Vt. In this capacity she traveled extensively globally, to many nations, often in the company of her husband. The family visited New Hampshire from early on and moved to Bridgewater, in 1975. Helyn and John both became active members of Plymouth Congregational Church. Helyn worked as Secretary to the Head Librarian of Plymouth State College Library, where she enjoyed both students and staff. Helyn worked for Plymouth State until after her 50th Wedding Anniversary. After retirement she maintained an active social, family and church life. Helyn Acosta Townsend will be long and lovingly remembered for her enthusiasm and the joy she took in the company of her extensive family and circle of close friends. A memorial service will be held for Helyn Townsend Saturday, Nov. 5, at 1 p.m. at the Bridgewater Town House, followed by an internment at Old Home Cemetery in Bridgewater. Gifts in memory of Helyn Townsend may be made to: Congregational Church of Christ, 4 Post Office Square, Plymouth, NH 03264 or , 165 S. River Rd, #210, Bedford, NH 03110.