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In Memoriam: John G. Talcott

May 30, 2013

Trustee John G. Talcott, a successful businessman, lover of history and faithful friend of the seminary, passed away in Plymouth, MA, on May 27, at the age of 105.

Mr. Talcott had served on Gordon-Conwell’s board since 1971, including a post as Secretary of the Board from 1975–1997. During those years, he worked with all six of the seminary’s presidents and watched the school grow into a renowned, evangelical seminary with four campuses, more than 20 degree programs, top-notch faculty and an unwavering commitment to training students to think theologically, engage globally and live biblically.

Mr. Talcott came to Christ on January 5, 1950, at a Billy Graham crusade. He attributes this conversion to changing him from a nominal Christian intent on pursuing his own interests into a genuine follower of Christ intent on discerning and obeying the will of God.

“Many people back then and now think everybody’s going to Heaven; they just assume it and take it for granted,” he once said in an interview with Gary Bergel. “But the truth is we have to make a decision and put effort into knowing and following Christ.”

A graduate of Yale, Mr. Talcott was successful in the cranberry business, eventually becoming a director of Ocean Spray Cranberries. In addition, he served as a 1st lieutenant in WWII, participated on the education board of Vernon, Conn., and was a deputy fire chief for five years. His many other activities included serving as a trustee of Springfield College, as president of the Massachusetts Society for Aiding Discharged Prisoners, and as a founding member of Intercessors for America. Also, following his conversion, he worked for a time reviving a rural church in NH that had been closed. The church has operated continuously since his time there.

Mr. Talcott, who was able to trace his ancestry back to the Puritan and Mayflower eras, also had an avid love of history. He was chairman of the Plymouth 350th Anniversary Committee from 1970-1971; chairman of the Plymouth Bicentennial Commission that erected the bronze statue of Governor William Bradford in 1976; and trustee, president and fellow of the Pilgrim Society. He regularly marched, in uniform, in the July 4th parade in Plymouth.

Mr. Talcott was married to the late Katherine (Scott) and Rosalin (Voshell), and leaves behind his son, John G. Talcott III, daughter Rosmary Parks, seven grandchildren and many great grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at a later date.