Citizen of the Month: Louis Tayon, Jr.

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By MJ KNOBLOCK

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Chesapeake wouldn’t be the city it is today without the efforts of volunteers throughout the community. Just ask Louis Tayon, Jr. He believes that. It’s one of the reasons the Great Bridge resident is so involved in a number of organizations.

“We’ve got a lot of good people here in Chesapeake,” said Tayon, 70. “A lot of them were role models to me growing up. A lot of them exude the Rotary model, ‘service before self,’ and we’ve got a lot of people that do a lot of things for the city.”

Without them, Tayon noted, these things would probably never get done.

Tayon is a tireless contributor to the Chesapeake community himself. He is a charter member, past president and current board member of the Great Bridge Rotary Club. The club will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year.

Tayon is also a member of the South Norfolk Ruritan Club, the Chesapeake Sports Club, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Police Association of Virginia and the Chesapeake School Board Foundation. He served as the 2012 chair of the Chesapeake Jubilee.

The son of a U.S. Coast Guardsman, Tayon is a Savannah, Georgia native who grew up living on both coasts. His family moved to Chesapeake when he was in tenth grade. He graduated from Oscar Smith High School and went to Chowan College in North Carolina.

Tayon’s first involvement with a service organization came after he returned to Chesapeake from a four-year stint in the U.S. Army to find that most of his friends had left the area or were married. He was working the night shift as assistant manager at the Tinee Giant on Poindexter Street and looking for something to do. A friend encouraged him to get involved with the Central Chesapeake Jaycees. He decided to give it a try. It changed his life.

“I enjoyed working with people with a positive attitude and doing things in the community,” said Tayon.

The group was active in starting several projects, including the Miss Chesapeake Pageant and organizing a parade for Chesapeake Public Safety Day.

It wasn’t long after that that Tayon joined the Chesapeake Police Department. He served the department in several different capacities as he moved through the ranks over his 41-year career before retiring in 2011 as the Deputy Chief of Police. Meanwhile, he also became active in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves, serving for 22 years before his retirement.

The newest organization where Tayon devotes his time is the Chesapeake Sports Club. Created in 2011, the group’s purpose is to recognize, promote and honor great sports accomplishments and contributors to the athletic community in Chesapeake. This is done in two ways, through honoring sports legends and providing college scholarships to high school student athletes.

The Legend of Honors program recognizes people of the past who’ve been instrumental as coaches and athletes in the Chesapeake community. Some Legends honored by the club include former NFL stars William Fuller and Ed Beard, as well as Ricky Rudd, of NASCAR fame. The organization recognizes one Legend per month with a ceremony and a plaque.

As part of the scholarship program, high school athletes from each of the city’s public and private high schools were chosen to receive a $1,000 college scholarship.

The Chesapeake Sports Club is honoring high school football coaches during the month of July with a special dinner. Tayon explained that coaches are an important part of the community because they are instrumental in the background for today’s rising athletes, teaching kids sportsmanship and how to play the game.

The organization has two main fundraisers every year. The first is the Jamboree banquet, which was held in March. NFL analyst and former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann was the keynote speaker.

The second fundraiser, an annual golf tournament, will be held on Friday, July 19, 2013, at Chesapeake Golf Course.

Tayon is enthusiastic about his involvement with several organizations in the Chesapeake community, but still finds plenty of time to spend with his wife Sharon of 23 years and their French bulldog Lucy, a three-year-old bundle of energy. In his spare time, he is currently working on building a deck in his back yard. The Tayons have three daughters who are now grown and have children of their own – Catherine Flora and Jamie Geressy both live in Chesapeake, and Michelle Ferguson in Arizona.

“I think Chesapeake is a super place to live and grow a family,” said Tayon. “And for those interested, there area a lot of service organizations in Chesapeake where you can find your niche. Each one has its own goals and interests. Investigate. Find one that fits you and get involved in your community.”

Congratulations, Louis Tayon, Jr. on being named Citizen of the Month. We appreciate your dedication to public service. The city of Chesapeake is incredibly fortunate to have you as a leader in our community. 

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One Response to Citizen of the Month: Louis Tayon, Jr.

  1. Rodney Tayon Reply

    June 29, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    I am so very proud of my older brother. You have always been an inspiration to me. I have always been proud to tell people you are my brother even when I was a teenager and you were a cop.

    Congrats Louis.

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