Bruce B. Talbot

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MORETOWN - Bruce Bellows Talbot, 61, of Moretown, died peacefully Jan. 23, 2011.

Bruce was born and grew up in Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1971, with a Bachelor of Arts, and Northwestern University in 1973, with a Master of Science, both in journalism.

Based on his freelance reporting from the Democratic and Republican conventions in Miami Beach in 1972, Bruce was offered a wire service correspondent position by United Press International, at a location of his choice. He chose Vermont and spent the rest of his life here.

Bruce was married to Martha Fitch, of Montpelier, from 1976 to 1983, and they had a son, Peter, in 1981. In 1993 he married Judith Sutphen, of Putney, and together they adopted Alejandro and Sofia as infants, in 1992 and 1995, respectively. Bruce is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Jack and Marilyn Talbot, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., as well as their four sons and families.

From 1978 to 1983, Bruce was a beloved teacher at Montpelier High School, and he continued to teach both young people and adults in various capacities throughout his life. From 1983 to 1987, he was the editor of company publications for the National Life Insurance Co. and from 1987 to 1989, the manager of public relations for the Barre Granite Association. In 1993, he organized and managed the cultural heritage factory tour for the nation's oldest basketmaking company, Basketville Inc.

In the 1970s, Bruce became a devotee of Maharaji Prem Rawat and established a lifelong daily meditation practice. Bruce believed that this practice allowed himself to see the beauty inside of himself, and therefore, of others. There was always abundant laughter with Bruce around with his intelligence, roguish humor and sense of irreverence; therefore, it is impossible to remember him without a smile.

In the 1990s, Bruce became a serious student of the Landmark Forum, formerly known as est. Taking its life-transforming philosophy very much to heart resulted in Bruce co-producing five concerts throughout the 1990s of the New Hope Baptist Church of Newark, N.J., 100-member choir, bringing their awe-inspiring gospel music to thousands of Vermonters. He also co-led tours to Newark, N.J., and Harlem, N.Y., to introduce Vermonters to African-American culture and landmarks.

In 1994, at the age of 45, Bruce was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. He chose to transform his disease into a contribution to his own life as well as others and began by founding and serving as the president of the Vermont chapter of the American Parkinson's Disease Association. During the 16 years his disease progressed, Bruce became central to the Vermont Parkinson's community, as well as active at the regional and national level. In 2007, Bruce was honored to be named to the first national patients' advisory council of the Parkinson's Disease Foundation.

In February 2010, Bruce was diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor, a glioblastoma. His reaction to his diagnosis was, "I've had a wonderful life." His family, friends and community throughout the country and around the world surrounded and supported him in his illness, and he passed away very gently. In the heart of the pain is great joy and we love Bruce just for being Bruce and making such a difference in our lives. Bruce's book on his philosophy of life and his journey with chronic illness, "The Heart of the Matter," will be published posthumously.

A memorial celebration to honor Bruce and his life will be held at the Barre Opera House on Sunday, Feb. 13, at 4:30 p.m.; all are invited.

Tax-deductible gifts in Bruce's honor can be made to the University of Vermont College of Medicine Department of Neurology - "In honor of Bruce Talbot" on the message line, Medical Development and Alumni Relations, 89 Beaumont Ave., Courtyard at Given, Burlington, VT 05405. Our hope is to establish the Bruce Talbot Fund to enhance Parkinson's disease research, education and care in Vermont with a minimum goal of $100,000.

You are invited to share your memories and online condolences by visiting www.caringbridge.org/visit/brucetalbot or www.awrichfuneralhomes.com.
Published in Times Argus on Feb. 2, 2011
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