Jackie Mae Townsell has devoted her life to preserving the rich history of Bear Creek and providing a better way of life for the people who call this community home. Born April 7, 1936, Jackie Howard was 13 years old when her family moved from Dallas to a two-room house in Bear Creek. Her father, who was a major influence in her life, wanted a good place to raise his three daughters. Since then, Townsell has worked for all Irving residents to carry out her father's dream of a brighter future. She spearheaded efforts to annex Bear Creek into Iriving in 1969, thus providing much-needed city services to the rural neighborhood. Townsell was the first African-American elected to the Irving City Council, and served in this capacity from 1977 to 1995. Her leadership and peacemaking efforts, along with a deep love for people, helped bring harmony and reason to the city. Townsell's calling to help others is reflected in the countless hours given for the benefit of Irving residents. Her restaurant, Townsell's Grocery, became a popular gathering place for lunch and many neighborhood activities. Townsell has been recognized on state and national levels for her community spirit and hard work to keep the history of Bear Creek alive and the city of Irving prospering.