Obituary: Glenn Taulton,1951-2023 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Glenn Taulton,1951-2023

From an early age, music was his greatest passion

Published May 19, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.
Updated May 19, 2023 at 8:11 a.m.

Glenn Taulton - COURTESY
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  • Glenn Taulton

Glenn Edward Taulton, 71, of Burlington Vt., was born October 31, 1951, in McKeesport, Pa. He was the beloved son of the late Joseph and Agnes (Battle) Taulton.

Music was his greatest love, and it started at an early age. His grandfather, James “Boogie” Taulton, was a well-known traveling jazz club pianist, and Glenn got his start singing in the Morning Star Baptist Church choir in Clairton–a church that counted among its founders his great uncle, Reverend John Cyrus Taulton. Glenn attended Clairton High School where he played the tuba in the marching band. In college, he joined the jazz club and often played conga drums with an Afro-Latin music group in the neighborhood. He graduated with a degree in music education from Duquesne University in 1973 and was proficient in tuba, string bass and voice.

After graduating, he worked as a music teacher for a time before getting married and joining the Navy as a band leader and cryptologic technician. He traveled with his family to Pensacola, Fla., and Sabana Seca, Puerto Rico, before being honorably discharged and settling in Manassas, Va. There, he got a job in the clean tech lab at IBM. He stayed there for nearly 20 years and moved his family to Vermont to work at the Essex plant when the Virginia plant closed. At a time when there were few other Black people in the state, Glenn quickly found friends with new residents from all across the African diaspora. His children fondly remember eating Jamaican patties made by Patrick, getting African outfits from Miss Lydia and attending salsa parties with Pete. They also remember watching their dad entertain crowds with his voice and string bass on Church Street, playing conga drums for African dance workshops and acting in Finian’s Rainbow with the Lyric Theatre.

He felt loved by the Burlington community and chose to remain, even after his wife moved back to Pittsburgh following their separation. His love kept him active, and he attended rallies to fight for labor rights and equality for all and campaigned for Bernie Sanders. He also continued to dance and play music — whether it was singing karaoke at the St. John's club, or gospel with Nu Alpha and later at the First United Methodist Church of Burlington, or performing with friends at the Flynn Theater.

Glenn departed this life on May 13, 2023, at his residence in Burlington, Vt. He was preceded in death by his sister Gail Taulton; his mother, Agnes (Battle) Taulton; and his father, Joseph Taulton.

Glenn is survived by his former wife, Frances; loving children, Tiffany, Glenn Jr., and James (Carolina); brother, Byron, of Adrian, MI; sister, Agnes Josephine; grandchildren, Michael, Jamie and Mya, all of Pittsburgh, PA; Zoe Fleming, of Burlington, VT, whom he helped raised; and many beloved extended family and friends around the world.

A funeral will be held at his family’s home church in Clairton at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 22. A memorial service at the First United Methodist Church of Burlington, Vt., will be held on June 4 at 11 a.m. A GoFundMe campaign has been created to support the family with his final expenses.

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