Martha "Cissy" Townsend Connolly was born October 5, 1948 at St Vincent’s Hospital in Jacksonville, FL, to her parents Emmett and Mary Townsend. Martha was named after her paternal grandmother and had a paternal aunt and cousin of the same Christian name. Martha was baptized and confirmed as a Roman Catholic and was devout. She was born with the birth defect of cerebral palsy, something she spent the rest of her life overcoming. Martha was raised in Neptune Beach in the house her father built in the company of her immediate family and caring adults, but managed to regularly interact with neighborhood children. She loved everyone and enjoyed their company.
Martha attended both the Jessie Ball Dupont Elementary School for the Handicapped and Jessie Ball Dupont High School as well as Love Grove Middle School for the Handicapped. She didn’t graduate high school but received her G.E.D. in her mid 30’s. Martha later graduated from Valencia College in Orlando, Fl. with an A.A. degree. She moved to Central Florida in her early 20’s and later to South Florida in her early 50’s. She was divorced in her late 30’s, but remained independent until her mid 60’s.
She is survived by her daughter, Cathy (Don) Harrison; grandchildren, Edward Harrison and Kameron Harrison; and older brother, Tim Townsend.
Graveside Services to be held on Thursday, June 11, 2020 at H. Warren Smith Memorial Cemetery, Jacksonville Beach, Florida.
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