USA (WYC) — Elaine Mielke Townsend, 91, the widow of W. Cameron
"Cam" Townsend, who co-founded Wycliffe Bible Translators in 1934 and
founded JAARS in 1948, died July 14 at 7:00 p.m. in a Rock Hill, S.C. hospital
after a brief illness. She had been in weakened health since a February 21,
2006 stroke in her Waxhaw, N.C. home.
Bob Creson, president of Wycliffe USA, said, "All Wycliffe staff
mourn the loss of Elaine Townsend, 'Auntie Elaine,' to many. She and her
husband, Uncle Cam, our founder, were outstanding examples of faith in God and
commitment to the Bibleless peoples of the earth. Were she still with us, I
know her message to us would be, 'Finish the task!'"
Following her husband's death in 1982, Mrs. Townsend was the selfless keeper
of the flame for her late husband's vision, championing the cause of those who
speak minority languages. She shared her beloved husband Cam's dream of seeing the
Bible translated into every language, no matter how small the number of
For her local and global community service, the state of North Carolina awarded her the prestigious
"Order of the Long Leaf Pine" in August 2000.
A Memorial Service is planned for Saturday at the JAARS Center
in North Carolina. She is survived by four children, 21
grandchildren, and fourteen great-grandchildren. Wycliffe mourns the passing of a longtime champion and friend.