Obituary of Tyler Neil Townsend
Tyler Neil Townsend
Tyler Neil Townsend, 30, of Parker passed at home following a long battle with a rare digestive disorder on January 28, 2020. Tyler was born on November 19, 1989 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Millie (Kurtz) Townsend and Doug Townsend. Tyler graduated from Highlands Ranch High School in 2007 and received his bachelor’s degree in Integrative Physiology from the University of Colorado with distinction in 2012.
Tyler’s excitement for learning and places unknown began at an early age. Before ever starting school, he would read the Wall Street Journal to all who would listen at family reunions. This led to a bond with his great-aunt Wilma Bruner, 66 years his elder, and the two of them were pen pals and best friends for the remainder of Wilma’s life. Tyler was always fascinated to hear about her travels and the places she had seen and experienced.
During his youth, Tyler loved fishing from the family boat, but he never seemed to catch any fish. One day his cousin asked if Tyler put the worms on the hook himself, and he quickly figured out that his parents had been tricking him all along. Tyler never had a hook on his line because he wasn’t the best caster and his parents feared he would hook someone on the boat. But he finally got a trip to fish in the Gulf of Mexico on his cousin’s boat and proudly caught a number of fish!
Tyler was able to enjoy his own worldly travels to experience the fascination and wonder that Wilma had inspired in him. He visited Japan with his dad and sister after graduating from high school. He participated in the International Scholar Laureate Program Delegation in Medicine in Australia to study their health care delivery systems in preparation for attending medical school. He explored Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica and Panama. But his love of Asia led Tyler to be an avid fan of K-Pop, specifically the band BTS and “V”, teaching himself Korean so he could actually understand the lyrics.
Towards the end of his life, Tyler began to fulfill his love of baking and his dream of becoming a pastry chef. Absorbing every baking show imaginable while lying in bed suffering through his illness, Tyler’s love for his family was shown through his baking for them. Despite barely being able to stand and being unable to even taste, let alone truly enjoy, his cookies, cakes and rolls, Tyler baked his creations for his family to enjoy.
Tyler is and will always be truly loved by his family and is deeply missed. He is survived by his mother, Millie Townsend, Parker; father, Doug (Christine Fierro) Townsend, Denver; sister, Heather Kurtz, Parker; brother, Brad (Allison) Townsend, Lebanon, Indiana; grandparents, Lemon & Diamond Townsend, Kokomo, Indiana, and Trudy (Jim) Caudell, Indianapolis, Indiana; along with numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. Tyler was preceded in death by his grandfather, Edgar O’Haver.
Tyler’s life was tragically cut short by this horrible rare disease of Chronic Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction and his dream of becoming a medical doctor and helping others was never fulfilled.
In lieu of flowers, the family of Tyler Townsend requests donations be made to support research into a cure of this rare disease so that others will not have to suffer as Tyler had. Donations may be made to the Indiana University School of Medicine to support transplant surgery research. Please make memorial gifts payable to “IU Foundation – Transplant Surgery” and mail to IU Foundation, P.O. Box 7072, Indianapolis, IN 46207-7072. Please indicate “In memory of Tyler Townsend” on your gift. Gifts may also be made online at http://go.iu.edu/2heC Click on the ‘Give Now’ button and from the drop-down menu select “Transplant Surgery Research Fund”. On the next page, please indicate the gift is “In memory of Tyler Townsend”. Thank you for your donation in support of Tyler’s legacy.
At Tyler’s request, there will be no public viewing or services. The family will hold a private service to honor his life.