Obituary Listings

Donald William Townsend

February 11, 1928 May 25, 2018
Donald William Townsend
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Obituary for Donald William Townsend

Donald William Townsend, 90, passed away on May 25, 2018 in Houston, Texas. He was born on February 11, 1928 in Harrow, England to William and Rose Townsend. He graduated from Acton College, London reading Geology and then trained in telemetry with the Royal Air Force.

Don spent the 50s and early 60s working with survey crews ("doodlebuggers") all over the Middle East as a surveyor, seismic observer and seismologist.

He married Elizabeth Hunn in 1961 and the couple moved to Tripoli, Libya. Their daughter, Deborah was born there in 1964.

During the 60s, he and his colleagues pioneered the use of mainframes in oil exploration, working for Ray Geophysical, which later became Geosource, then HDG, and still later Halliburton.

In 1964, they installed the first mainframe (RayGeo system 360) in Tripoli, Libya, and subsequently developed the first generation of seismic software systems.

Don and his family moved to Houston in 1969, and thereafter he continued to develop digital tools for the industry which were used by Ray Geo all over the world. In 1973, he became manager of worldwide system support for Petty-Ray Div. Geosource Inc.

After retirement in 1993, Don divided his time between restoring a country cottage on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon; and establishing and maintaining the library at the GSH Geoscience Center here in Houston. Don was also an enthusiastic wood-worker, and later took up book-binding.

Don is survived by his wife, Elizabeth and daughter, Deborah. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends.
A memorial gathering will be held Friday, June 1, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in Southwest Houston. Please email dwtown@att.net for details.

In lieu of flowers, the family request memorial contributions be made in Don’s name to a charity of your choice. Don was a supporter of the World Wildlife Fund, and your local SPCA is always a worthy cause.


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