In Memoriam: Anthony Taliaferro

February 21, 2013
Tony Taliaferro

Tony Taliaferro

Members of the UCSF community are saddened by the loss of former UCSF web specialist Anthony Taliaferro, who died on Feb. 14, 2013. He was 50.

A memorial service for Taliaferro will be held at noon on Sunday, Feb. 24, at Duggan’s Serra Mortuary, 500 Westlake Ave., Daly City.

Taliaferro was a key member of UCSF’s web communications team for the past 13 years. He was instrumental in building and launching the redesigned UCSF homepage two years ago as well as several other University websites. Taliaferro served as the go-to person on daily web production activities, posting content – stories, photos, graphics and video – from multiple sources on ucsf.edu.

A native of San Francisco, Taliaferro was born on the Fourth of July and raised in the City, where he attended public schools. He was an avid musician who taught himself to read and write music, play guitar and the piano. He also was a writer and a talented artist who produced comic strips and comic books and sketched and drew during his free time. Taliaferro passed many of these artistic skills to his adopted son Daniel, 30.

Taliaferro also enjoyed the outdoors, including visiting Mountain Lake Park, where he had lunch with the turtles, mallards, coots, herons, seagulls and his favorite, the little red-shouldered blackbirds. He also volunteered with the Mount Sutro Stewards participating in restoration activities.

At UCSF’s University Relations department, Taliaferro put his artistic skills to work in creating graphic designs for the web, T-shirts and print materials. Some of his recent works include creating the visuals for the AIDS 2012 website and blog, for which he was recognized with a department “super hero” award. He also designed T-shirts for the UCSF team to wear in AIDS Walk San Francisco. Although he was a very private person, University Relations staff managed to feature Taliaferro in the UCSF Spotlight section a year ago.

Tony as a boy

Tony as a boy

“Tony was a shy, soft-spoken, sweet and sensitive man,” said Lisa Cisneros, editor in chief of Web Communications who worked with him since he joined the staff at UCSF in 1999. “He was well liked and respected in University Relations and at UCSF for his sense of humor, poignant observations, kindness and artistry. Tony will be sorely missed.”

As a boy, Taliaferro enjoyed entertaining his family with stories, music and magic, his mother Joy Nichol recalls. At age 13, he started his own radio show performing comedy skits with his younger brother Raphael. He earned money performing magic shows around town.

“One of his favorite sayings was, ‘Happiness is knowing that your mom is home,’” Nichol says. “I just wish that I could see him walk through that door again.”

Taliaferro is survived by his son, Daniel Agid; his ex-wife Jacqueline Agid, both of Daly City; his mother, Joy Nichol of Stockton; his father, Raphael “Ray” Taliaferro; brother Jeffrey Taliaferro and Jeffrey's children, Vincent and Ruben, of San Francisco; and brother Raphael Taliaferro and Raphael's children, Dominique and Joy, of Stockton.

Top photo by Susan Merrell