Alfred Leon Taylor
Alfred Leon Taylor, son of Mable Taylor Bethea and Clarence Lumsford, entered this realm of life June 24, 1942 at Lincoln Hospital in Durham, NC. He came to Nyack, NY in 1946 and was raised to maturity by his Great Aunt, Eva Bond. He was a member of Pilgrim Baptist Church where he sang in the Young Adult Choir, attended Bible School and was a member of several service clubs. He passed away on March 20, 2018.
Affectionately known as A.T., or Big Al, he was above average size from his early childhood. He was very strong and he soon proved to have superior sports abilities which led to his becoming an outstanding Nyack High School athlete in Football, Basketball and Track and Field showing dominance on the grid iron, on the court, and in Track Meet Events of Shot Put (first to throw over 50 feet), 440 Relay, 880 Relay (being the last member of the outstanding 880 team who burned up the lanes of all Rockland high schools in 1960). Alfred/A.T. gave stellar performances in every area of competition earning his place as a NHS All County Champion. He was a popular and very versatile young man during his formative years, always eager to give assistance when called upon or in any voluntary circumstance. These characteristics continued to describe him throughout his life. He graduated Nyack High School in 1960; thereafter, he attended North Carolina College, Durham, NC.
Alfred/A.T. met and married Lauretta Sexton in 1963 –three children were born to them: Stephen, Jennifer and Lenora. He was employed by Orange and Rockland Utility Company until his relocation to NC in 1972. Following passing qualification exams, he then served as a police officer for the High Point, NC Police Department rising from Rookie of The Year (1973), promoted to Sergeant, to Detective and on to become the first African American to attain the rank of Captain. He also worked for Guilford County Schools and retired from Guilford Technical Community College.
Alfred/A.T. was an astute thinker who could converse on a variety of subjects. He was politically conscious, motivated and active on a local, state and national level. He welcomed debates and challenging situations. He liked to increase his vocabulary by pointedly introducing new words into his discussions to stimulate reaction to his manipulations of language. In his later years he developed an interest in reading on a variety of subjects which included his very thorough perusal of nearly the entire local newspaper from front page to last. Although admitting being extremely challenged to become more computer proficient, he expressed his appreciation of the Internet as being the instrument that had broadened his perspective on many of his views.
Alfred/A.T. possessed an excellent baritone voice; after moving to North Carolina he maintained his New York accent unaffected by his southern environs. He received copious compliments on the vibrato and resonance of his voice from people in various settings. Some thought he could easily have been a radio announcer. He loved to sing and dance to all genres of music—both vocals and instrumentals; most especially he enjoyed Do Whop, Rock and Roll, R&B, Jazz to Gospel as well as Classical. His recreational pursuits were his love of fishing, playing pinochle/solitaire, listening to music, watching Football, Basketball and the news—and—driving very fast in his pickup truck! He loved good food and made it a point to brag on his wife’s excellent cooking skills and the great amounts of his favorites that his voracious appetite relished and of which he was able to consume in his younger days. He was a sharp dresser with a flair for fine suits, shirts with coordinating ties and GQ shoes.
Alfred/A.T. has been a comedian to family and friends and a bit of a prankster, always having a good sense of humor, and able to crack a good joke with his accompanying loud, explosive and infectious laugh. For all his brawn and machismo he was also a very sensitive and highly emotional man. When angry he was an erupting volcano, and just as true, he could demonstrate great patience and tolerance in trying situations.
Family oriented and fiercely protective, A.T. was known to be dependable and quick to respond to family crises and emergencies. To all who knew him he was a man who dearly loved his children and grandchildren. He readily
boasted of their accomplishments in setting their own sports records. He was always their most avid fan, but would blush when told they were a chip off of the block which he himself had set. Around his house he learned to be somewhat of a handyman and he enjoyed building a reputation for his grill master skills especially for preparing the varieties of fish he was fond of catching. Despite his size and strength he was never a bully; to the contrary however, he was ever very humble in receiving praise and compliments for all of his athletic accolades. Alfred wrote on his senior photo to his “Mom”; words that are an enduring description of his character: “To my beloved and ever loving Mom, of and to whom I am deeply grateful for raising me to be a seemingly genial and courteous young man. There really aren’t words to thank you enough, but just saying thanks, and I love you will be sufficient. Your unforgettable son, Al.” Well said indeed!
One of the most treasured highlights of his life was his induction into the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame in April 2017. He wept during his acceptance speech and later remarked that he had never expected such recognition and honor would come to pass. He received a standing ovation from those attendees who applauded his greatness regardless of time passed—truly it was to him “better late than never.” When the announcement for his induction appeared on Face Book to the surprise of his children he was described as a man among men, a beast, and a force to be reckoned with. To all those compliments he simply said, “Well, thank you very much.”
During his final days A.T. was reflective and contemplative regarding the events of his life and the status of society in general. In summing up the things he considered to be of greatest importance it was his desire to leave a good impression and example for the next generations of his posterity to follow. Toward that vein one of the solos he sang in church was entitled, “If I Can Help Somebody As I Pass Along The Way—Then My Living Shall Not Be In Vain.” Pun intended. Amen and Amen.
One of his mourners encapsulated her condolences very succinctly stating, “I’m so sorry to hear of his passing. What a wonderful, strong, loving, funny man. I’m so grateful that I was able to get to know him. He was so very supportive and protective of his entire family—a force whose loss will be felt by all he touched.”
Alfred Leon Taylor is survived by his wife Lauretta Sexton Taylor, his son, Stephen (Angela) of Greensboro, NC, two daughters, Jennifer Taylor, Charlotte, NC and Lenora Taylor of High Point, NC, five granddaughters: Crystal, Taylor, Andrea, Faith and Naliah, three grandsons: Cameron, Avery and Chetney, and five great grand children,
Zaleyeh, Zy’ere, Taylor Laren-Grace, Lauryn, and L’oux ; his Aunt, Gertha Eubanks of Nyack, NY, fifteen first cousins and many extended family relations, friends and acquaintances.
Services will be held at New Bethel Baptist Church, 1116 Montileu Ave, High Point, NC on Saturday March 24, 2018 at 1 o’clock PM. Viewing is March 24, 2018 from 12:30 to 1PM.
Arrangements by People’s Funeral & Cremation Service, 1404 W English Rd., High Point, NC 27262