Billie Ann Taulman, Sag Harbor’s ‘Cigarette Lady’
Billie Ann Taulman of Sag Harbor, born in Placer County, California on October 6, 1929, expired early Sunday morning, August 3, at Southampton Hospital after a very long illness. She is survived by her two younger sisters, Lillie Brown and Elsie Taulman, both still residing in California. On their mother’s side, the Taulmans are descended from Mary Ball Washington, George Washington’s mother.
Taulman is further survived by her life-partner in the arts of 54 years, Prof. Annselm Morpurgo, also known as Artemis Smith. The Taulman-Morpurgo partnership, Artemis Associates, was active in the 1950’s in both advertising and for activism on behalf of the many human rights movements then in their formative years.
Taulman began her artistic and activist career in Berkeley, California in the late 1940’s while on a Regents scholarship to USC and while simultaneously as an active member of the famed Berkeley Circle Players and prominent on the Committee to Elect Actress-Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas to the United States Senate. Taulman was herself being groomed to run for Congress, but fell prey to the Nixon character assassination campaign leveled against Douglas, according to Annselm Morpurgo. Blacklisted along with her cohorts, she suffered a mental breakdown and dropped out of school, said Morpurgo.
In December of 1954, on her return from a European tour paid for by her Berkeley friends, many of them later celebrities, Taulman met Morpurgo (then known under the pen name of Diana Carleton Rhodes). She decided to remain in New York City and form a feminist alliance both politically and in the arts. She became Art Director at Roy Garn Advertising where Morpurgo was already established as Creative Director and Head of New Business. Later, and with Morpurgo, Taulman went on to work for Save the Children Federation and for Print Magazine.
In 1957, Taulman was interviewed by Eleanore Roosevelt for a post as special assistant at the United Nations, to work on the Bill of Universal Human Rights and also to be groomed to run for the U.S. Senate, said Morpurgo. The security check that followed, and what may have beenÂ dirty tricks played by the J. Edgar Hoover boys known to have targeted potential leaders of the human rights movements, led to a second mental breakdown from which Taulman never fully recovered, said Morpurgo.
Morpurgo never gave up on Billie and eventually took her to Sag Harbor where she was allowed to follow whatever path she chose. For a greater part of her life kept medication free under the care and protection of Annselm and The Savant Garde Institute, Taulman was able to find a new and powerful niche in the arts.
Addicted to tobacco by the psychiatric profession, said Morpurgo, she became known in Sag Harbor as ‘The Cigarette Lady’ who sat on a bench on Main Street each day for more than thirty years entertaining admirers with tall tales from her vast imagination. Everyone knew they were being told fantasies, said Morpurgo, but they loved to listen to her anyway because of the valuable insights they contained about issues great and small.
A memorial service over Taulman’s grave at Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor is scheduled for 2 p.m., Sunday, August 10. All are welcome to attend.
Eugene W. Ebeling
Eugene W. Ebeling of Sun City Center, Florida, formerly of Sag Harbor and Woodhaven, N.Y., died July 4 in Sarasota, Florida.Â He was 98.Â He was a summer resident of Sag Harbor, for 36 years, before settling full time in Florida.Â He was born in New York City to Eugene and Charlotte Ebeling on May 19, 1910.
Dr. Ebeling practiced dentistry in Woodhaven, Queens after graduating from Columbia University School of Dentistry in 1932, until his retirement in 1970. He was a member ofÂ the Queens County Dental Society and American Dental Association. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge for 70 years, currently with Wamponamon Lodge 437, and was a past master of Hillside Lodge 894 and a member of the Scottish Rite.
Dr. Ebeling was predeceased by his wife Georgiana and is survived by his daughter Marilyn Arents of Brookfield, Connecticut, daughter and son in law Elaine and Paul Stoll of Sarasota, Florida, sister Charlotte Quintana of Denville, New Jersey, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held at 11:30 a.m. on August 16, 2008, at Incarnation Lutheran Church, Bridgehampton with the Rev. Rose Ann Vita officiating. Memorial donations can be made to Incarnation Lutheran Church.
Emily Jane Fletcher
Emily Jane Fletcher, former teacher and church organist, died at Southampton Hospital on August 4. She was 87 years old.
Born in Southampton on May 5, 1921, she was the daughter of Charles and Emily (Shaw) Yardley.
Mrs. Fletcher was the widow of the Rev. Douglas Fletcher, who predeceased her in 2004. She is survived by a son, Bruce Fletcher, of Sag Harbor.
Funeral services will be held Friday, August 8, at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian “Old Whalers” Church in Sag Harbor. Interment will follow at Oakland Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps, or the First Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund.
A full obituary will appear next week.
James Sterling, Jr
James Sterling, Jr., a resident of Sag Harbor, died at the Westhampton Care Center on Saturday, August 2. He was 80 years old.
Born in Southampton on April 29, 1928, he was the son of James S. and Mary (McDonough) Sterling, Sr. Mr. Sterling, who had a career as a title insurance underwriter, lived in Sag Harbor most of his life, except for a period from 1991 to 2004 when he lived in Gettysburg, Penn. A graduate of Pierson High School and Georgetown University, he served in the U.S. Army from 1946-1948 in the Korean War.
Mr. Sterling was the husband of the former Nancy Nolan, who predeceased him.
He is survived by children Marie Page of Sag Harbor, Nancy Davidson of Florida, Jim Sterling of Jacksboro, Tenn., Maryanne Piccione of Sag Harbor and Patrice Davidson of Calverton, L.I.
He is also survived by a brother, George Sterling, of Maplewood, N.J.
In addition he is survived by 11 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and three nephews.
Services were held at Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in Sag Harbor on Tuesday, August 5. A funeral Mass was held on Wednesday, August 6, at St. Andrew RC Church in Sag Harbor. Interment followed at St. Andrew Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to the Sag Harbor VFW PostÂ 9082.