Battle Ground -- After 12 years safely guiding kids across the street as a Battle Ground Public Schools crossing guard, 84-year-old Gene Townsend retired this month. Battle Ground Public Schools Director of Communications Gregg Herrington said Townsend was a beloved fixture at his regular post by Parkway Avenue and Ninth Street, near Chief Umtuch Middle and Captain Strong Primary schools. He was known for his cheerful demeanor and ability to remember the names of students. A retirement party was held at the former Lewisville Middle School on Nov. 8. At the celebration were 2010 Battle Ground High School graduate Ceair Rich and BGHS senior Cassie Prater, who both fondly remembered Townsend from when they were young children walking to school, according to a district press release. Townsend had already retired from the workforce when he took on crossing guard duties in 2000.