Current Issue

May 11, 2011

Vol. 111, No. 12


David Taggart ’73

Published in the May 11, 2011, issue

Note: The following is an expanded version of a memorial published in the May 11, 2011, issue of PAW.

Dave died March 13, 2011, in Melrose, Fla., after a valiant two-year fight with brain cancer.

Dave grew up in Wellington, Kan., a small town in a farming area of southeastern Kansas. Gordon Beaham ’53 was interested in identifying talented students from that area of the Midwest and helped recruit Dave to Princeton. Dave became the first student ever to attend from his town.

At Princeton, Dave played on the undefeated freshman football team and played intramural basketball. He roomed with Ralph Simmons and Frank Mickey. He helped pay for his education by working Commons and Wilcox and other campus jobs as well as teaching tennis in the township. It was at Princeton that he met Ruth Berkelman ’73, whom he married following graduation. A member of Tower Club, he majored in psychology. Dave was respected by all.

After graduation, he received an M.B.A. from Harvard and embarked on a successful career at the Coca-Cola Co. in Atlanta. He rose to the position of senior vice president and treasurer. Always active in the community, Dave served on the board of the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, coached soccer, served meals to the homeless, and supported many educational causes, including the Posse Foundation.

Dave was a quiet supporter of the University. He never wanted praise and adulation, but he contributed to the University by serving on the Atlanta Schools Committee and working as beverage chairman (for which he was overqualified) during Reunions. That’s why ’73 had the special Coca-Cola bottles that no one else had.

Dave faced death as he lived his life, with a certain inner strength. He didn’t complain as his disease worsened. Instead, he felt that he had been blessed to have lived a great life and had been given opportunities he had never even dreamed about growing up in Kansas.

Our condolences go out to his wife, Ruth; daughter Kimberly ’04; and son John ’09. Dave will be missed.

The Class of 1973

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1 Remembrance posted for David Taggart

Jim DiOrio ’73 Says:

2011-05-17 12:03:03

We all lost a great classmate. Dave was a class act and supported the University and the class in a very quiet way. Ever wonder why we had the special Coke bottles at our 35th reunion? We can thank Dave for that in his role as Beverage Chairman. He was also generous — creating a scholarship at Princeton and was a pillar of the Atlanta community. Liked by all.
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David Taggart
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