Obituary

In Loving Memory of Edgar A. Towne
February 27, 1928 - April 13, 2018

In Loving Memory of Edgar A. Towne

In Loving Memory of Edgar A. Towne
Feb 27, 1928 - Apr 13, 2018

In Loving Memory of Edgar A. Towne
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The Rev. Dr. Edgar A. Towne, Indianapolis, died on April 13, 2018, at the age of 90. He was born in Albany, NY, February 27, 1928 to Arthur B. Towne and Margaret Shug Towne, and grew up in Dunkirk, NY, where he became an Eagle Scout and where his father had a successful law practice. He is predeceased by his first wife, Sarah Wright Towne, their daughter Mary Michal, and their grandson, Isaac Courtney Towne. At the time of his death he was Professor Emeritus of Theology at Christian Theological Seminary, where he had taught since 1975. He was educated at The College of Wooster, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and the University of Chicago. An ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Mr. Towne was a pastor in the Mountaineer Mining Mission in West Virginia, and pastor of the Hyde Park Union Church, Chicago. He learned to fly in West Virginia and received his private pilot's license in Chicago. He was a member, and twice President, of the American Theological Society (Midwest Division), a member of the Highlands Institute for American Religious and Philosophical Thought, The Society of Christian Ethics, the American Academy of Religion, and the Reformed Roundtable of the Synod of Lincoln Trails. He is the author of one book, 71 articles, and 41 book reviews. In Indianapolis he was a member of the boards of the Damien Center, the Indianapolis Peace and Justice Center, and of the Indiana Information Center on the Abolition of Capital Punishment. In 2002 he received the Robert Risk Award from the ACLU of Indiana. Mr. Towne is survived by his wife, freelance writer and author Marian K. Towne, his sons, Stephen, Jonathan, Nathan, stepson Karl Kaufman, and six grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at 1pm at Fairview Presbyterian Church, 4609 N. Capitol Ave.

Darrin Kissinger on May 1, 2018

Hi, I am Darrin Richard Kissinger. I was named after my Uncle Dick – who knew Ed very well. I got to know Edgar when I was growing up when he visited my parents at Purdue University – right here in Indiana. We visited him in Berkley and in Sacramento.

I am here to represent the Towne family and the many cousins Ed has in Dunkirk, New York and the surrounding area. All of his cousins remember growing up with him and his wonderful visits to the area.

My mom, Diane Towne Kissinger, wrote a poem many years ago for her students when they graduated.
Today I am brought back to her poem because Edgar has graduated Magna com Laude into the Lord’s loving care. So I dedicate this poem and added comments to Edgar Towne.
Gifts
By Diane Kissinger

We’re given gifts to make us unique.
But many of them we should not keep.
Keep your quest for knowledge and concern.
Give away the lessons that you’ve learned.
Keep your beauty that shines like a dove.
Give away your special kind of love.
Edgar loved learning and taught all of us joy, love and kindness by his example and by sharing his knowledge in his home, school, and articles and books that he wrote. He was always dressed perfectly, which he probably learned from his mother and father. But it was his smile and the glow in his eyes that made you feel like you were the most important person. He cared about everyone and gave everyone his special kind of love. (And the poem goes on..)

Keep your pride and persistent drive.
Give away encouragement, help others try.
Keep your strength and ability to lead.
Give to others and do good deeds.
This was 100% Ed. He gave toothers but never boasted about it. He was always proud of his accomplishments and proud of his family and friends. He was a great leader as shown in the many organizations he was a part of and led. In addition to his accompllishments he will be remembered for his giving and good deeds.

As the poem says – Ed had..
Gifts to give to show he cared.
Gifts to keep and gifts that he shared.
Edgar was filled with the gifts of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. The Lord blessed us by giving us such a wonderful man. Thank you.







Gifts

By Diane Kissinger

We’re given gifts to make us unique.
But many of them we should not keep.

Keep your quest for knowledge and concern.
Give away the lessons that you’ve learned.

Keep your beauty that shines like a dove.
Give away your special kind of love.

Keep your pride and persistent drive.
Give away encouragement, help others try.

Keep your strength and ability to lead.
Give to others and do good deeds.

Gifts to give to show you care.
Gifts to keep and gifts to share.

The Lord gives us gifts to make us unique.
But many of them we should not keep

Darrin Kissinger on May 1, 2018


Edgar Towne
Edgar was such a wonderful, intelligent, patient, kind, joyful and loving man of God, who loved his family. We remember Edgar with a big smile and a great sense of humor and a special way of making everyone comfortable.
We remember Marion, Stephen and Ed visiting our little two room apartment in married student courts at Purdue in Lafayette, Indiana. It was Easter and we played the traditional find the Easter eggs with him, Marion and Stephen. They lived in Indianapolis and we thought it was wonderful to have family at Easter.
When Edgar was at Berkley, California working on his, book we visited them. They showed us around the area and we enjoyed two days with them.
We often heard stories about Ed and the family visiting Dunkirk/Fredonia and everyone was so happy that he brought his family there for a few weeks. There would be many times when he would visit his grandmother, Sophia Towne, who lived on Swamp Road. After visiting with his grandmother he would go downstairs and sit with Dorothy and Ken Towne on their front porch. They would talk and enjoy a cold glass of tea, a beer or maybe some homemade wine.
There would always be a big family picnic at Point Gratiot Park in Dunkirk. Everyone would bring a dish to pass – homemade baked beans and scalloped potatoes, potato salad, grilled hamburgers and homemade pie (everyones’ favorite). Edgar enjoyed the food but spent most of the time walking around the table talking with everyone there.
He was such modest, good man. He never boasted about the many things he accomplished. He was a good listener and liked to hear stories about the family and tell them too. We are deeply sorry about the loss of Edgar. As you grieve, knowhat we are remembering and honoring him too. Your father’s guiding hand will always be with those he loved.

Barbara Griffith and a Jonas Bjork on Apr 28, 2018

Our favorite memory of Ed is when he, Marian and Steve were at our house for dinner and we ended up in the backyard around the fire pit. There, he sang campfire songs with gusto, to the delight of our daughters. More than 70 years separated them in age, but that was no barrier whatsoever.

Dr. Art Vermillion on Apr 28, 2018

Marian and Family:
May you know God's comfort, strength, peace, love and hope. I would join many in expressing great gratitude for Ed's distinguished ministry as scholar, teacher, friend and mentor in our Christian faith. Christian Theological Seminary was most blessed with Ed on faculty.
Blessings,
~Dr. Art Vermillion

Renee Anderson on Apr 28, 2018

I was very sorry to hear of Ed's passing. His gentle, kind, and caring manner holds a special place in my heart. I felt blessed that he and Marian showed an interest in me and my friendship in the years we worshiped together at Fairview Presbyterian Church. I hope his example of quiet strength and faith continues to inspire those at the church and in the causes he held dear. My prayers are with his family and many other friends.

Mary Ann Fadae on Apr 22, 2018

Our sincere condolences to you and your family on the passing of dear Ed. He was such a kind man. Farzad and I have fond memories of Ed. May God bless his soul and may he bless and comfort you all.
Sincerely,
Mary Ann Fadae

Stephen K. Fisher on Apr 21, 2018

I give thanks to God for the imprint that Dr. Ed Towne left on me. He was one of my professors, his wife Marian was a classmate of mine at CTS and Steve was part of the youth group at the University Park Christian Church in Indianapolis, where I served as a Student Associate Minister. Dr. Towne's gifts to me were kindness, his tremendous intellect and his love of God. I have done my best to share his gifts to those that I have ministered to as both a local church pastor and as a hospital chaplain. I always enjoyed the chances I had to visit with Ed and Marian on my visits to CTS. The gift of remembrance is an important gift. I will always remember him as long as I live. Blessings in Jesus' name. Rev Stephen Fisher, M.Div. from CTS in 1978.

Betsy on Apr 20, 2018

I particularly remember Ed for his involvement with the AIDS Walk & Damien Center. His quiet but steadfast support spoke volumes to those around Indianapolis. That it was important to him, made it important to others - myself included. Standing steadfast with others in need, that is a lesson I learned (not in a classroom but by example) from Dr. Towne and will continue to try and carry forward into the world. Thoughts and prayers to all who will miss his gentle spirt.

Juli on Apr 19, 2018

Ed was such a gentle, loving, kind, always smiling, happy soul. I was fortunate to help Ed with his book. When my daughter was diagnosed with cancer and decided to dye her hair purple before she lost it all, we had a purple dying party- Ed was one of the many who came to the salon and got a purple streak. In his white hair it was striking and he just smiled. For his support in that way, our family can smile whenever we think of Ed. If only this world had more Ed's it would be a wonderful place to be. Ed made this world, and everyone he touched, better for knowing him.

Marty Miller Maddox on Apr 19, 2018

Ed was an ecumenical Christian, a faithful supporter of the Presbyterian church, a sound seminary teacher and scholar, and a real gentleman. My wife Cheryl and I are privileged to have known him here in Indianapolis. Whenever we first came to Indy, he was welcoming and hospitable to both of us. We are sorry to see that he has passed. Were there only more like him! Blessings to Marian in her loss and to his son Stephen and the rest of the family.

Jim Dougans on Apr 19, 2018

Ed was a great man. I am so glad to have known him. The photo of Ed in the obituary nicely captures the joy and peace he radiated. He will be missed. Jim Dougans

Frank Burch Brown on Apr 19, 2018

Please accept my sincere condolences. During my early years as a U of Chicago grad student in the Divinity School, I met Ed when he was senior minister of Hyde Park Union Church. He was inevitably kind to me, and continued to be a remarkably benevolent friend when I became a colleague at CTS, and more recent times, which were not easy for many. I'm sorry not to be available for the memorial service, as I'm in the early stages of recovery from hip replacement surgery. I'm with you in spirit--Marion and others. Frank Burch Brown, Prof. Emeritus of Religion and the Arts, Christian Theological Seminary

Kent Grimes on Apr 18, 2018

CandleIt was the early 70's when I was a student at CTS. I still retain fond memories of class with Dr. Towne. My sympathy to Marian and the rest of the family. Kent Grimes, Class of '72

Neil Allen on Apr 18, 2018

The greatest treasure of my seminary experience was seeing Dr. Towne bow before us before starting his lecture. It caught me off guard the first time, but as he kept doing it I felt his honesty in that gesture. It was a humbling experience. I asked him to preach at my ordination. I felt privileged to learn from this kind man. His legacy lives on. Neil W Allen

re. Dr. Sam Young on Apr 18, 2018

Rev. Dr. Sam Young on April 18, 2018
I wish to express my deepest sympathy to the family of Dr. Ed Towne. I had the privilege of working with Dr. Towne as his Graduate Assistant in the Department of Theology at CTS in the early 70's. I admired his intellect and the gracious manner in which he interacted with students and faculty. He was a man of faith with an endearing smile. I am grateful for his life. He was a significant influence in my ministry. Rev. Dr. Sam Young, Retired Pastor, Huntington, indiana

Barbara Blaisdell on Apr 17, 2018

I am deeply sorry for your loss. Your husband/father was a theological and spiritual mentor of mine, unfailingly kind but never easy. I am grateful for his life and confident that he is held safely in God. Sincerely yours, Barbara Shires Blaisdell, Senior Pastor, First Christian Church, Tacoma, WA

Rev. Dr. Brooks Barrick on Apr 17, 2018

I am expressing my deepest sympathy and lifting prayers for the family. Dr. Towne was one of my professors at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. His leadership was essential in the development of my ministry. I guess if I want to limit my experience of Dr. Towne to one thing it would be he always had a smile on his face, very much like the photo shown here. May God be with you as this Dr. Towne becomes one of the cloud of saints which have developed minds for service to God's church. ----Much peace, Rev. Dr. Brooks Barrick

Rev. Dr. Thomas R. Jewell on Apr 17, 2018

I first met Dr. Towne when he was a visiting professor at CTS back in the early 70s. My theology classes had all been with the Catholic Seminary Foundation, but I took one theology course from Dr. Towne. He probably was the main reason that I remained a Protestant as a result of my seminary education! He made theology understandable, alive, and relevant. I am thankful for his gracious instruction and fine example of Christian witness. Rev. Dr. Thomas R . Jewell, Class of 1974

Steve Butz on Apr 17, 2018

I am saddened to learn of the loss of Ed Towne. I came to know Ed, Marion and Steve as friends and fellow members of Fairview Presbyterian Church. I admired Ed's intellect, humility and faith. He was a treasure to the congregation, and a blessing in the many ways he contributed to the Body.

M. James Gardiner on Apr 17, 2018

I am sad that I am unable to attend the memorial service for Ed, however I will always remember as a scholar, an educator and loyal friend. I enjoyed our time we spent at the Reformed Roundtable. May you family and friends be blessed with the healing presence of the Spirit.

Joseph Ward on Apr 17, 2018

I was present for Dr. Towne's inaugural address to the CTS community. At a time when I struggled with classical doctrine, his words and scholarship opened the way for my life-long affirmation of trinitarian belief. As one of the few Presbyterian students at the seminary, I was and will always be grateful for this counsel and care. Ed Towne's advice came back to me amid a time of prayerful consideration of a call to a conflicted church, as though his words gave voice to God's own response to my appeal. Lastly, he told me a story from his days as a grad student that I have repeated many times, about how you have to "trust the system." As an illustration of Reformed theology, the story ranks, for me, right along with those of Calvin, Edwards and Barth. He remains a part of all that he has met. Joseph Ward, Raleigh, NC

Ruth Chadwick Moore on Apr 17, 2018

Ed and Marian attended a bible study I led at American Village until a few months ago. Ed always contributed to our discussion and made it better. He was such a thoughtful and kind man. Ruth Chadwick Moore

Anne girton kumeh on Apr 17, 2018

Dr. Towne was one of my favorite professors at Christian theological seminary. It taught in a way that could be easily understood and yet challenged is to be open to questioning and rediscovery of what we understood theologically and ethically . Thank you for sharing this man with us. Anne Girton kumeh

Don Nead on Apr 17, 2018

Marian - my prayers are with you and the family. Ed will be missed in many ways and by many people. It was always exciting to see the two of you when I was in town or on campus. I still remember our connection through a common mentor at McCormick in Chicago, Marshall Scott. May God's shalom be with you and the family in the days ahead.

Jeff Rasley on Apr 17, 2018

Ed was a mentor and friend. I am very sorry to miss the memorial service, because I will be out of town. Ed was my adviser and teacher at CTS. We were friends through UChicago Alumni Club. He was kind, gentle, thoughtful, knowledgeable, wise, and just a good person. I will dearly miss him.

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Apr
28
Saturday
Fairview Presbyterian Church
4609 N. Capitol Ave
Indianapolis, Indiana 46208
1:00 PM

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