James Carlin Taylor

Published 12:35 pm Wednesday, October 2, 2019

James Carlin Taylor died Wednesday evening, Sept. 18, 2019, while a patient at the Riverside Hospital in Newport News.  He was the son of Eva Taylor, born June 13, 1938 in Smithfield.

As a child he attended and became a member of Hill Street Baptist Church.  He was nurtured in the Sunday school and the first kindergarten.  Carlin was baptized by the Rev. Samuel R. Williams and was known to play in the baptismal before services began. Carlin and his friends were also known to sample the communion supplies during the week, as the church was never locked. 

He attended the Isle of Wight Training School, developing quite the reputation for challenging the disciplinary skills of his teachers.  He enjoyed missing school, playing hooky and pranks on his friends.  He was the unofficial “assistant manager” at the Smithfield Movie Theater where he would let the boys in while distracting the real floor manager.  Carlin also worked many other part-time jobs as a teen and young man.

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Carlin became the organizer of the nationally known Neighborhood Watch Program.  He watched everything that went on in the neighborhood, Church Street, Riverview, Jersey Park and on Wharf Hill.  He was also the first unofficial health inspector because he ate at everybody’s house.

 Carlin and his best friend, Donald Ballard, joined the United States Army, and after completing his tour of duty was honorably discharge.  He coined two phrases, “God Made Moses,” and “What Difference Does it Make?”  He met and married Miss Gloria Brown and enjoyed more than 56 years of marriage together.

Carlin was always a community-minded individual and enjoyed business ventures.  He is most widely known as the co-manager, along with the late Lewis “Red” Harris, of the Club LaRue where he perfected his culinary skills cooking the world famous, hand-breaded fried chicken sandwiches.  He was also a great supporter of all local sports and sports teams.  He would sponsor trips to professional football games throughout the country.

Carlin was a former staff member of Tynes-Edwards Funeral Service and most recently a staff member with Shivers Funeral Chapel.

He was a faithful member of Main Street Baptist Church, serving with the Men’s Fellowship as president for a term.  He also served with the Board of Trustees and promoter for the Men of Music.  He volunteered as a van driver, food service worker and maintenance support.

Treasuring his memory and remaining are his wife of 56 years, Gloria Brown Taylor; his son, Gregory Taylor; his daughter, Rosslyn Taylor Hill; his grandchildren, Geoffry and Travis; and his great-granddaughter, Ahnnyia.  Also remaining to treasure his memory is his uncle, Edward Taylor; his cousins, Victor and Mizelle Taylor; his sisters-in-law, Wilma Brown and Concetta Stewart; nieces, nephews, and other cousins and many friends.

A Celebration of Life service was Sept. 24 at Main Street Baptist Church, 517 Main St., Smithfield. Professional services entrusted to Shivers Funeral Chapel.