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Brian Talbert

Brian Talbert, “the cannon man” died peacefully at his home in Pikeville, Tennessee, on Wednesday, December 9th, at the age of 81 with the love of his life and partner, Jo Ann McKinney, by his side.

Brian was a well-known Civil War reenactor in the southeast for over 40 years as the Captain of the Third US Artillery. He was best known for his long hair, loud laugh, thick New England accent, wearing a Scottish kilt to battle and as someone eager to help others. He was an avid motorcycle rider for over 60 years and often would be seen working at HOG (Harley Owners Group) rallies at the hospitality booth.

When he retired from Honeywell in Florida he moved to Tennessee to be close to his beloved Fall Creek Falls State Park and loved riding his motorcycle on all the mountain roads in the area.

To Brian, nobody was a stranger, just somebody he hadn’t talked to yet or had a chance to make laugh. His children will remember him lovingly as being motivated by curiosity, kindness, and love, and who was always up for an adventure. Even though he was very outgoing, in life he was a very private person and his wish would be that you remember him with a smile.

He was well liked and respected by many and if you didn’t have a chance to know him, then it was your loss because he was a very special person.

He is survived by his partner, Jo Ann McKinney of Hixson, Tennessee; daughter, Heidi Lawson (and her husband, David Philpott); granddaughters Liza and Lana Lawson-Philpott of York, Maine; son Vaughn Talbert of Hendersonville, North Carolina; grandson Aaron Lawson (and his wife, Aleksandra Lawson) of Albany, New York, and sister Sheila Talbert Dutile of Mount Juliet, Tennessee.

There will be no funeral service. However, a celebration of his life will be held in early 2021. The date and details of that celebration will be provided to family and friends in the coming weeks.

Online condolences can be made at

Arrangements by Standefer-Reed Funeral Home, 50 May Road, Dunlap.

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