Steven Rice Townsend, 69, of Ellensburg, passed away at his home on Saturday, January 6, 2018. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 13, 2018 at Steward & Williams Funeral Home.
Steve was born on November 16, 1948 in Corvallis, Oregon to Donald & Louise (Kincaid) Townsend. He was raised in Salem, Oregon and graduated from North Salem High School in 1967. In his younger years he enjoyed hunting and fishing with his father and brother.
After high school, he attended college at Oregon College of Education in Monmouth before enlisting in the United States Air Force. Steve served eight years of active duty, four of those years overseas in Japan, before transferring to the reserves, working at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. While in the reserves, he worked as an Air Reserve Technician where he was a jet propulsion supervisor and engine mechanic. He retired from the Air Force after 36 years of service.
Steve met the love of his life, Unetta Frandsen, in 1979 at the diner where she worked. He would come in every morning before work for a cup of decaf coffee and an English muffin. The two hit it off and were married on June 21, 1980 in Great Falls, Montana. In 1983, Steve formally adopted Unetta’s two children Christina Marie & Joseph Carl and along with his first daughter Heather Marie, the family made their home in Spanaway.
Just prior to his retirement from the Air Force, Steve and Unetta purchased the Ellensurg Agate & Bead Shop. They owned and operated the store for 16 years until their recent retirement. He enjoyed everything having to do with rocks – collecting them, studying them and making jewelry. He also made great biscuits and gravy as well as excellent venison.
Steve is survived by his wife, Unetta, at their home in Ellensburg; children Heather (Michael) Lawson of Soldotna, Alaska; Christina (Robert) Bosch of Gig Harbor, Washington; and Joseph Townsend of Steilacoom, Washington; seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren with one more on the way. He is also survived by his brother Jim (Rae Ann) Townsend of Portland, Oregon; step-sister Margo (Jack) Looten of Nampa, Idaho and Danielle Rowley-Ivanov of Boston, Massachusetts, whom he considered to be a daughter.
Memorial contributions in Steve’s honor are suggested to the Wounded Warrior Project, www.woundedwarriorproject.org. Steward & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Ellensburg has been entrusted with caring for the family. Online condolences may be left at www.steward-williams.com