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Va. Gov's Mansion Hits 200, 'Tutti' Makes It a Home

March 17, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - What's the difference between Virginia's museum-like Executive Mansion and a home?

For 29 years, it's been Martin "Tutti" Townes, the official butler to every Virginia first family since Chuck Robb was governor.

Over 200 years, 54 governors have lived in Richmond's gubernatorial residence. Townes has been almost family for the past eight.

His actual family has even deeper roots to the Executive Mansion. His mother, Doris Townes Fleming, was the mansion's cook when she met and married his stepfather, William Fleming. His wife, Stephanie, is the former mansion maid.

The 51-year-old Townes counts Sept. 11, 2001, and its terrorist attacks as his toughest day's work. Among his brightest was Jan. 14, 1990, when he welcomed home Doug Wilder as America's first elected black governor.


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