Dr Mike Townsend

We are sorry to announce the death of Dr Mike Townsend. Mike was a significant figure in the world of braille, having been part of the Braille Authority of the United Kingdom (BAUK) for many years and latterly a member of the Braille Subject Area of the UK Association for Accessible Formats (UKAAF). In this capacity, he represented the UK on the Executive Committee of the International Council on English Braille (ICEB) between 2012 and 2016, where he also served as Public Relations Officer, and he continued to represent the UK on ICEB’s Public Relations Committee until his death.

An extract from a statement from Torch Trust, where he served as Chair of Trustees, follows:

It is with a heavy heart and a sense of profound loss that we announce the death of Mike Townsend. He and Edith had been on a cruise in the Caribbean when Mike developed a bad cough and collapsed. He was taken to a hospital in Antigua where they found he had a repeat of the pneumonia that he had suffered with a couple of times in recent years. They also found that he had had a cardiac arrest and that his blood pressure was very low meaning that some of his organs were beginning to shut down. He was too ill to move to another island with more of the facilities he needed and despite a brief increase in his blood pressure earlier this week, his body finally succumbed, and he died on 28th November).

Edith has been with him in Antigua and thankfully her sister was able to fly out to be with her before Mike died. Our thoughts and prayers are with Edith, their daughter Christine and the rest of the family as they begin to absorb this news and start their journey of grief. Please do pray for them and particularly for Edith as she has to make arrangements to return to the UK and all that entails and all that will follow it in terms of plans for funerals etc.

We mourn Mike’s death. We grieve the loss of someone who has been so involved in and committed to Torch’s ministry almost since its start. Mike touched the lives of many many people both directly and also in the many contributions he made through Torch and other organisations that he was involved in. We will miss him.