Penny's Passion: In Memory of My Dad

Sunday, July 23, 2023

In Memory of My Dad

You might have noticed I've been away from the blog for a while.  We had an earth-shattering event happen in my family.  My father passed away last Wednesday and our hearts are broken.  Saturday we said our final goodbyes at his funeral service.  The words spoken at the service sum up his life and to honor him, I'd like to share them here ~

Don Talbot who was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, with family lovingly by his side.

Don was born on September 21, 1938, to Earnest and Orva Talbot. He was raised in New Florence, spending many years at his family’s property just south of town. Later, his dad built a cabin on that property and Don loved going there to hunt and spend time in the woods.

He was the youngest of eight children. His siblings, Hale, Amy, Eunice, Virgil, Estil, David, and CH all precede him in death.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 61 years, Linda; his children, Penny and her husband Eric along with Ernie and his wife Carina; grandchildren, Ian and his wife Kayla, Mason and his wife Kristian, Landon, Kayden, Liam and Neveah; great-grandchildren include Hunter and Teagan; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends who loved him dearly.

Don married the love of his life, Linda Jackson, in 1962. They were frequently the last couple dancing at many wedding reception anniversary dances. Most recently, they won at Morgan Carter’s wedding in May of this year. When asked about what you should look for in a good wife, Don often commented to look for a good cook. You eat three times a day and you don’t do anything else three times a day…well, at least not for very long.

Don was a great father and he made sure to instill his values like honesty and a strong work ethic into his children Penny and Ernie. For example, when selling a used car he made sure the buyer knew every single thing wrong with the vehicle. It might not have made him the best salesman, but it taught his kids admirable life lessons.

Don always felt a deep commitment to his community and with the support of his wife, Linda, they opened a joint barbershop and salon on Main Street early in his career. His shop was more than just a place to get a haircut; it was a haven where stories were shared, laughter echoed, and lifelong friendships forged. With his quick wit, contagious smile, and calming presence, he had a gift for making every client feel like family, transforming routine visits into memorable experiences. While Don’s barbershop held a special place in his heart, he was a jack of all trades and also founded Don Talbot Construction. Later the name changed to Talbot and Son Construction when Ernie joined the business. While he officially retired several years ago, he was still a constant presence on construction sites and proud to see his grandsons and great-grandsons continue the tradition in recent years.

Don’s commitment to his community extended beyond his barbershop and construction company. He was a member of the New Florence Baptist Church, masonic lodge, and New Florence Lions Club where he actively supported local initiatives, lending a helping hand wherever needed. His love for New Florence was unwavering, and his impact on the town and its people was immeasurable. Don was dedicated to the New Florence Lions Club, serving as the Secretary/Treasurer for decades. The work of the Lions Club is evident around town by their many accomplishments. Don was instrumental in helping raise money to purchase a firetruck for the city and building the firehouse. The street signs in New Florence originally came from the Lions Club and they worked diligently to install them. Another project you may not even realize Don was a part of was getting the city park started. Just a few years ago, he helped add a basketball court to the park. He received the prestigious International Lion’s Club Melvin Jones Fellowship Award. This honor is to acknowledge an individual’s dedication to humanitarian service and is the highest form of recognition by the Lion’s Club.

If you’re driving around town, you will pass many buildings and homes that were constructed by Don. His quality in workmanship will keep those structures standing for years to come. He could build anything and was often called upon by family and friends to make something for them. His last project was building a train for the grandkids. Be watching for it in the Old Settler’s parade this year.

Yet, amidst his devotion to the community, Don’s greatest love was reserved for his family. His wisdom and gentle spirit guided us through life's challenges, reminding us to embrace humor, resilience, and the importance of cherishing our family bonds. He always had a twinkle in his eyes and a mischievous smile that accompanied his playful antics. He was a beacon of light, even in challenging times, inspiring all who knew him and had an uncanny ability to bring smiles to the faces of those around him and lift spirits with his clever comebacks. Don had an ornery side and loved teasing people. He frequently latched on to one thing and would relentlessly tease them for years to come. Whether it was crying over spilled milk, eating the first deviled egg, or having no calluses on your hands, he always ended his jest with a laugh.

Don loved playing card games, especially pitch. He was quick to compliment his opponents anytime they made an error by saying “I don’t see anything wrong with what you did.”. He loved teaching his grandsons to play chess. He often boasted that while on a road trip to Colorado, he beat one grandson in chess across the whole state of Kansas. The part he always conveniently left out was the grandchild was only 7 at the time and never lost to him again!

If you’ve ever had a fish sandwich at Old Settlers, there’s a very good likelihood that Don fried it. He stood behind the fryer with pride from the moment the event started until it closed. It didn’t matter how hot it was, he was back there frying fish!

You might have noticed a few years ago that New Florence had hardly any dandelions. That might have been because Don decided to start making wine and was picking any yellow dandelion he could find! The grandchildren loved helping him pick the flowers a lot more than the adults enjoyed drinking it!

Tinkering with engines was also one of his passions. If you drove by his house, you would often find him in the yard putting a tractor back together or working on a car. We’re not sure if it was the actual work on the engine he loved or if it was spending time with the people who were helping him.

We all have things about Don we’re going to miss. Today we say goodbye, but his spirit will stay alive in the echoes of all the things he has taught us and the love we have for him.


  1. Oh, Penny, no wonder you are such a great were raised by a very special dad. He sounds like one amazing man and his passing is going to leave a giant hole in your heart and life for a while. Allow yourself some grace and time to grieve and realize that in 6 months or 6 years, at any given moment, you might feel a wave of grief sweep over you. But that's okay. It just speaks to your love for your father and the person he was.

  2. I'm sorry for your loss. It sounds like you had the blessing of having a wonderful dad! A few years after my mom passed, I decided to try to help myself with the grief by focusing on what I gained from her instead of what I have lost by her not being here any more. I hope all the things in this post will help you do the same until you are reunited one day.

  3. So very sorry for your loss...your father sounds amazing. May all those happy memories give you comfort now and in the days ahead!

  4. Sending prayers and positive thoughts. So sorry for your loss.

  5. Oh Penny I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. He sounds like he was such a special guy and you are so lucky to have had him in your life.

  6. Penny,
    I am so very sorry for your loss...Sending prayers for you and your family...

  7. Penny, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your Dad. You and your family are in my thoughts. My Dad passed a few years ago and I often find myself crying over memories of him. I'd like to believe it is the healing process. There is no timeline on healing. Your Dad sounds like he was a wonderful husband, father, and friend. 💙

  8. I'm so sorry for your loss. He sounds like a wonderful person. When the grief lessens, you will have so many wonderful memories.

  9. I'm so sorry to hear that Penny. Dads certainly hold a special place in a daughters heart. Prayers to your family...he sounds like quite the personality and I know you will miss him