James E. Taylor

June 29, 1947 ~ April 6, 2018 (age 70)

“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” - II Timothy 4:6,7 (KJV)

A Time To Be Born….

James Earl Taylor affectionately known as “Earlybird” son of the late James Theodore and Sadie Kornegay Taylor was born on June 29, 1947 in Parrot Memorial Hospital in Kinston, North Carolina.

A Time To Plant…..

Earlybird started receiving his early education at The Raleigh School For The Blind and Deaf (its present name is Governor Morehead School) in Raleigh, North Carolina. His mother learned of the school from a relative who introduced her to a family who had a deaf son by the name of Leon Grant. Leon was instrumental in Earlybird’s acclimation to the new school. He and Leon played basketball together making and breaking records and maintained their friendship until Leon’s passing. Earlybird was considered a basketball star by on watchers and commentators. His positions in basketball were shooting guard and small forward. To this day, some of his basketball records have not been broken. He furthered his education at the North Carolina School For The Deaf in Morganton, North Carolina where he received his high school diploma in 1967.

A Time To Harvest……

After graduating high school, Earlybird had a brief stay in Kinston, North Carolina until his childhood friend, Moses Jones, asked Earlybird’s mother permission for Earlybird to move North to Washington D.C. Earlybird pleaded with his mother to allow him to transition his life to Washington DC in hopes of new opportunities to advance himself. His mother agreed, but only to the condition that Moses watch out and care for Earlybird and not allow Earlybird to drive a vehicle. That didn’t work because Earlybird learned to drive and taught others how to drive. When Earlybird moved to D.C., he did not get a job right away, for he attended Gallaudet College to learn key punching. He played basketball for Gallaudet College and was chosen to represent Gallaudet overseas. He is featured in Jet magazine with the Gallaudet basketball team in the early 1970s. In addition, he, Moses and another friend worked for Earlybird’s uncle where they pumped gas at his service station to earn income. Because of his knowledge and skill set, he later was hired by the Federal Government Department of Justice as a civil employee and worked for more than twenty years until he retired.

A Time To Love……..

Earlybird met Debra Winston in 1975 at a Deaf social club called the Capital City Association for the DEAF (CCAD) in Washington D.C. through mutual friends. They courted and married on Earlybird’s birthday , June 29, 1976. From this union, they had one child, a daughter. Even though the marriage did not remain, he did not give up on love. He had a devoted friend for over thirty two years, Wilma Jones, whom he cared for and loved.

A Time To Laugh …… Earlybird enjoyed having a good time. His hobbies were sports, drawing, chalk painting, swimming, dancing, traveling, attending family gatherings, and participating in local and national Deaf events. Even in his adult life, he still played basketball traveling to various states to show off his skills. He was an outstanding artist, for his paintings were recognized by many. He was the life of the party. His signs were large, loud, colorful, and exciting, He liked to tease, joke around, and enjoyed interacting with young people. He never met a stranger, smiled a great deal, and was pleasant to be around.

A Time To …Die

Earlybird peacefully transitioned on April 6, 2018 at 8:30 pm at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He learned how to pray and obtained a closer relationship with the Lord in his latter years. Earlybird would attend Christ United Methodist Church of the Deaf to gain understanding and knowledge of the Word of God so that he could apply it to his daily living and encourage others. He will be missed dearly, but we rest in the assurance of a loving God who knows best.

He leaves to cherish his memory: a dear daughter, Shannan N. Taylor also known as Candy; two grandchildren, Jeremiah N. Lemon and Christina N. Taylor; five brothers: Rev. James Kelley (Eva) of Hillside, NJ, Elder Lexta Taylor (Barbara) of Bowie, Md, Franklin Taylor (Carolyn) of Laurel, Md, Dexter Taylor (Cynthia) and Wallace Taylor both of Kinston NC; four sisters: Glenda King (David), Essie Mills, Corrnerie Taylor all of Kinston, NC, and Audrey Mills (Wilbert) of Brooklyn , NY; one uncle, Louis Kornegay of Trenton, NC and one aunt, Lena Walker of Kinston, NC.; a special friend,Wilma Jones and a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, cousins, family and friends.

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