Genera Ichneumonorum Nearcticae
Marjorie Chapman Townes
28 March 1909 - 8 October 2006
by Jean Townes (Corvallis, OR) and John Morse (Pendleton, SC)
(adapted from an obituary published in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research 16 (1): 206-209; reproduced with permission from the International Society of Hymenopterists)
Marjorie Chapman Townes, 97, of Timberhill Place, Corvallis, Oregon, died 8 October 2006. She was the widow of Henry Keith Townes, Jr., who died in 1990. Born in Pawcatuck, Connecticut, on 28 March 1909, she was the daughter of the late William Robinson Chapman and Winifred Naomi Brown Chapman.
Marjorie attended Westerly, Rhode Island public schools and was Valedictorian of her class at Westerly High School in 1927. She then attended Mt. Holyoke College, from which she graduated "Cum Laude" with a BA in Botany in 1931, a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society. Marjorie completed her MA in Botany at Cornell in 1932 with a thesis on the anatomy of Witches Broom and her PhD in 1933, with a dissertation on the floral anatomy of Berberidaceae. She then taught Biology at Mt. Holyoke College during 1935-1937.
On 7 October 1937, she married entomologist Dr. Henry Townes from Greenville, South Carolina, whom she had met at Cornell. The young couple lived in Syracuse, New York, for a year, where her husband taught at Syracuse University and where their son David was born, then two years at Ithaca, New York, while her husband taught at Cornell University. They next lived a year in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where their daughter Jean was born, and as Henry conducted research at the Academy of Natural Sciences, then in Takoma Park, Maryland (1941-1948), and McLean, Virginia (1948-1949), while he was employed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. as a research taxonomist. From 1949 to 1952, they lived in Raleigh, North Carolina, while Henry taught at North Carolina State University and investigated tobacco pests. During 1952-1954, they lived in Manila, The Philippines, where Henry served as an Advisor to the Philippine Department of Agriculture concerning pests of rice and corn. They then moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan (1956-1985), where they worked together on various research projects concerning Hymenoptera, supported by grant funds, and Henry occasionally taught at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. While in Ann Arbor, they established the American Entomological Institute as a not-for-profit organization to manage the huge, world-class Hymenoptera collection and library that the two of them had by then amassed. In 1985, they moved the Institute to Gainesville, Florida, operating it as a private organization supported by grants and endowment income. After Henry died in 1990, Marjorie moved to Eugene, Oregon, to be near her daughter Jean, later moving to Corvallis in 2003, to be even closer.
Marjorie and Henry were a remarkable research team. She published 14 monographs with him mostly concerning parasitic wasps (see below). Together they undertook numerous entomological expeditions to many countries around the world and prepared the resulting specimens for further scientific study. The Institute began to publish books and research articles in the 1960s, for which Marjorie undertook responsibility for subscription and sales. Her work on the labelling and arrangement of the Institute s collection was indispensable, and contributed to its consisting of 900,000 specimens by 1990. Together, the Townes were appreciated internationally as a team who contributed significantly to our understanding of the taxonomy of Hymenoptera, especially of the family Ichneumonidae.
Marjorie is survived by her son David Townes of New York City, New York, and her daughter Jean Townes of Corvallis, Oregon, and by her grandchildren Andrew, Edward, Alice, and Catherine.
PUBLICATIONS OF MARJORIE TOWNES
Townes, H. & M. Townes. 1950. A revision of the genera and of the American species of Tryphonini (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 42: 321-447.
Townes, H. & M. Townes. 1951. Family Ichneumonidae. In C.F.W. Muesebeck, K. V. Krombein & H.K. Townes. Hymenoptera of America North of Mexico -- synoptic catalog. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Monograph 2: 1-1420.
Townes, H. & M. Townes. 1952. A revision of the genera and of the Nearctic species of Grypocentrini (Hymenoptera, lchneumonidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 53: 301-313.
Townes, H. & M. Townes. 1959. Ichneumon-flies of America north of Mexico: 1. Subfamily Metopiinae. United States National Museum Bulletin 216(1): 1-318.
Townes, H. & M. Townes. 1960. Ichneumon-flies of America north of Mexico: 2. Subfamilies Ephialtinae, Xoridinae,and Acaenitinae. United States National Museum Bulletin 216(2): 1-676.
Townes, H., M. Townes & V. K. Gupta. 1961. A catalogue and reclassification of the lndo-Australian lchneumonidae. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 1: 1-522.
Townes, H. & M. Townes. 1962. Ichneumon-flies of America north of Mexico: 3. Subfamily Gelinae, tribe Mesostenini. United States National Museum Bulletin 216(3): 1-602.
Townes, H., S. Momoi & M. Townes. 1965. A catalogue and reclassification of the eastern Palearctic Ichneumonidae. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 5: 1-671.
Townes, H. & M. Townes. 1966. A catalogue and reclassification of the Neotropic lchneurnonidae. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 8: 1-367.
Townes, H. & M. Townes. 1973. A catalogue and reclassification of the Ethiopian Ichneumonidae. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 19: 1-416.
Townes, H. & M. Townes. 1978. Ichneumon-flies of America north of Mexico: 7. Subfamily Banchinae, tribes Lissonotini and Banchini. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 26: 1-614.
Townes, H. & M. Townes. 1981. A revision of the Serphidae (Hymenoptera). Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 32: 1-541.
Townes, H. & M. Townes. 1982. A description of the Townes collection of Hymenoptera. Contributions of the American Entomological Institute 20: 15-30.
Townes, H., V. K. Gupta & M. Townes. 1992. Ichneumon-flies of America North of Mexico: 11. Subfamily Tryphoninae, Tribes Oedemopsini, Tryphonini, and Idiogrammatini. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 51: 1-292.
Townes, M. & E. Linna. 1963. The location of some obscure entomological collecting localities in the United States and Canada. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 65: 233-246.
Townes, M. 1972. A.A. Girault and his privately printed papers. The Great Lakes Entomologist 5: 129-132.
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