James Gardner Taliaferro Jr.

TOPSHAM – James Gardner Taliaferro Jr., 74, known to friends as “Brook”, of Topsham, passed away Monday Feb. 20, 2023.

Brook was born in 1949 in East Grand Rapids, Mich. to parents Gard and Mary Lee Taliaferro. His younger brother, David, followed three years later. In high school, Brook was an excellent swimmer, winning numerous ribbons in freestyle and relay for the East Grand Rapids High School Swim Team.

After college at St Lawrence University in upstate New York, Brook began his career in journalism, working for the EGR local paper, Cadence. He followed his muse to Boston, Mass., where he worked as a deckhand on a commuter boat before finding his way back into journalism.

Brook was a founding team member of United Publications in 1981 in Peterborough, N.H., along with partners Hal Short and Richard Parker. He served as the editor of United’s first publication, IT Electronics Service News. In 1987 the company moved to Yarmouth with Brook as president and CEO. The company expanded to Boating Digest, and later moved into a wide range of markets including IT support, call centers, retail gourmet food, physical security, home medical equipment, fitness clubs, and many others. Brook retired in 2019 when the company was sold.

Brook loved storytelling and traveling, and in his early career this took him to Central America where he wrote about the history and culture. His experience in Latin America solidified a lifelong passion and curiosity which took him throughout the continent. He proposed to his late wife, Cynthia Parker, on the beaches of Ecuador and more recently celebrated his 74th birthday in Mexico.

Brook had a deep passion for sailing, which he shared with Cynthia. As a young couple they sailed from Bermuda to Marblehead, spent time with friends cruising in the Virgin Islands and Turkey, and eventually passed their love of the ocean on to their three children. Brook took great pride in caring for his Vixen 34, Fox, which he sailed with his family and friends through Casco Bay and beyond. During his final sail on Fox in 2022, he was joined by his three children, their spouses, and his four grandchildren.

Brook leaves his children, Ross, Littlepage, and Lucy; his brother, David; and his grandchildren Phoebe, Hugh, Parker, and Stuart.

Brook was predeceased by his wife, Cynthia Parker Taliaferro.

A memorial is being held 10 a.m. Saturday, July 8 at St Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, 396 Gilman Rd., Yarmouth.

Online condolences may be shared with his family at http://www.lindquistfuneralhome.com

Share your condolences, kind words and remembrances below. You must be logged into the website to comment. Subscribers, please login. Not a subscriber? Register to comment for free or subscribe to support our work.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.