Col. Wilfred J. Talbot, Ph.D, a public school educator and beloved mathematics tutor at Capital Community College between 1990 and 2005, died on March 4th at the age of 88.
For 15 years “Wil” Talbot tutored and guided community college students from many backgrounds at the Woodland Street and Main Street campuses.
At Capital Talbot continued a passion for teaching and mentoring after a distinguished career as a teacher at Silas Deane Junior High School in Wethersfield and later in Winsted as a secondary school principal. An Army veteran of the Korean War, Talbot used the GI Bill to get his education at the University of Connecticut earning a degree in botany and a master’s and doctorate in education.
An outdoorsman and avid gardener, Dr. Talbot pursued rock hunting and minerology leading mineral expeditions for the Connecticut Audobon Society. Those interests led him to play an instrumental role in the founding of Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill.
“Wil inspired others to believe in their abilities, to pursue their passions and to invest in themselves with education or vocational training,” according to his family in a March 10th obituary in The Hartford Courant.
Those sentiments are shared by a former student and colleague of Wil Talbot during his time at the college.
“Wil was a great human being, a very trustworthy tutor and educator,” said Leonel Carmona, an alumnus and an associate professor of mathematics at Middlesex Community College in Middletown. Carmona was earning his associate degree in liberal arts when he met Wil Talbot. As one of Talbot’s “tutees” Carmona would go on to earn a degree in electrical engineering at Trinity College and a master’s in mathematics from CCSU before returning to Capital as an instructor and in 2015 joining the math department at Middlesex. “His ‘tutees’ remember him as a very humble person and an extremely caring teacher. Furthermore, Wil was a very generous person and a man with a big heart. He’ll be truly missed by his family, his friends and his students,” said Carmona.
Kathy Herron, a Professor of Mathematics at Capital, reflected on knowing and working with Talbot upon hearing of his passing:
“I worked with Wil Talbot in Capital’s Math Center for 10 years. He started working as a math tutor after he retired from a long and distinguished career in public school education. Wil seemed to love coming to work at Capital—he enjoyed the interaction with the students very much. His approach with each student was kind and gentle and he helped reduce the anxiety of many students. One of his hobbies was gardening and he helped me start my own perennial garden. He wanted to nurture both people and plants. Wil had a positive impact on many people, including myself.”
Following the example of Dr. Talbot who annually made contributions to Capital’s scholarship fund, his family invited donations to Gifts of Love in Avon for school supplies and contributions to the Capital Community College Foundation in his memory.