The source of light and love in our lives has dimmed with the loss of Mike Talkington on August 24, 2019, after a lengthy battle with lymphoma. He was born June 9, 1945, in Tuscola, the third of seven children born to K.V. and Mary Ellen (Wells) Talkington. He devoted his time at Villa Grove High School mostly to footb…read more
The source of light and love in our lives has dimmed with the loss of Mike Talkington on August 24, 2019, after a lengthy battle with lymphoma. He was born June 9, 1945, in Tuscola, the third of seven children born to K.V. and Mary Ellen (Wells) Talkington. He devoted his time at Villa Grove High School mostly to football and graduated in 1963. After serving his country in the US Navy from 1964-68, he used his GI Bill to complete undergraduate and master’s degrees in sociology at Southern Illinois University.
His focus on doctoral work at UIUC melted into unconditional love with the births of his children, Molly Bree and Emmett Michael. He joined the Illinois Dept. of Corrections, spent most of his thirty years as a state jail inspector, and retired as chief of the Office of Jail and Detention Standards.
Mike was indeed a much-loved man, emerging as the world’s most accomplished and perfect husband. Having previously tied knots with high school sweetheart Donna Schmohe and SIU sweetheart Laurel Burdie, he found his abiding love with Laurie McCarthy. The happiest of their thirty-plus years together have been the ones they cherished as grandparents to five little ones: Molly’s twins, Evan and Bree; and Emmett and wife Meghann Horstmann’s three, Jaxx, Eliott, and Fionna. They were Mike’s greatest joy.
Also surviving are siblings Lorraine/Jerry Collins, Darla Vogt, Margaret/Tom Bonnell, Karen Talkington, and Jim/Belinda Talkington; also his outlaws Tim/Carol McCarthy, Betsy Richter, Karen Lang, and Tom Star, as well as a host of nieces and nephews who adored him.
As a seeker of truth in so many ways, Mike was a lifelong learner and world traveler, a knowledgeable and voracious reader of history, sciences, politics, and Mark Twain. His talents as a woodworker and builder/designer were widely known. And (who knew?) Mike was a magnificent speaker of French; he and Laurie loved their time in France. He published fiction in a literary journal and articles in professional journals.
He supported NPR/WILL radio and would greatly appreciate memorial gifts to Friends of WILL, 300 N. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, 61801. Mention Mike’s name in the memo section of your check. A memorial reception will follow.
We end by honoring Mike with this quote from Twain: “With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble.”
Condolences may be offered at www.morganmemorialhome.com.