Glenn Edward Taulton, 71, of Burlington Vermont, was born October 31, 1951, in McKeesport, PA. He was the beloved son of the late Joseph and Agnes (Battle) Taulton.
He attended Clairton High School where he played the tuba in the marching band. He also sang in the Morning Star Baptist Church Choir. 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, proficient in tuba, string bass, and voice.
Afterward, he worked part-time as a music teacher and tutor at the Conley School in the Hill District for about a year and a half but, as Pittsburgh’s economy began to falter with the collapse of the steel industry, teaching jobs became more difficult to find and he transitioned into a job at a loan company. It was there that he crossed paths with Frances Roberts, who would later become his wife. Two years later, with a daughter on the way, he decided to join the Navy. This decision began the family’s nearly two decades-long history of travel.
He completed his basic training in Chicago and then was sent to live with his young family in Pensacola, Florida. There, his two sons were born before the Navy sent the family to Puerto Rico. They would live on the island for three and a half sunny years. As a cryptologic technician, he helped to secure the country during the height of the Cold War. After 8 years, he decided to leave the Navy and settled the family back in his wife's home state of Virginia.
After a few false starts, he found steady work at the clean tech lab with IBM and would continue to work there for the next 20 years, moving with the company from Virginia to Vermont in 1992. 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 St., playing conga drums for African dance workshops, and acting in Finnian’s Rainbow with the Lyric Theatre. And they will never forget the summer they spent traveling around the state with their dad teaching Latin music and dance workshops at summer camps.
After Glenn and Fran separated and she returned to Pittsburgh, he chose to stay in Burlington with all the friends that he had made over the years. He became even more active in the community, attending rallies to fight for labor rights and equality for all, and campaigning 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 New 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 parents and sister, Gail Taulton Payne, mother, Agnes (Battle) Taulton, and father, Joseph Wesley 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; 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 Morning Star Baptist Church of Clairton at 10 am on Monday, May 22nd, followed by the burial at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies at 2:30 pm. A memorial service at the First United Baptist Church of Burlington Vermont will be held on June 4th at 11 am. A GoFundMe campaign has been created to support the family with his final expenses.