Tallie M. Antolin
(1972 - 2004)
Tallie was born in Orange County, California in 1972. When she was 5 years old her family moved to New Hampshire. Tallie went to public schools with the aid of teachers of the deaf and interpreters where she developed excellent lip reading and speech.
One of her early jobs in high school was in a large grocery store. She started working as a bagger and within a few weeks she had worked her way up to working alone on the cheese counter. In spite of being mostly deaf, she used some hearing, lip reading and a pleasant personality to assist her customers.
After graduating from high school Tallie moved to Massachusetts where she became active with the Deaf community. There she improved her signing and learned American Sign Language. In 1993 she was a contestant in Miss Deaf Mass. Tallie enjoyed working in the deaf community and helping others. She spent years with D.E.A.F., Inc. of Massachusetts working as a volunteer, carrying out various duties. She supervised deaf campers of all ages and walks of life of during sessions each summer.
Her volunteer work was very extensive. Even while dealing with her own disabilities, she always worked to help others. One summer she worked as a residential counselor in a group home for mentally ill deaf individuals. She worked one on one as a teacher's aide for the summer camp, working with a deaf girl with additional disabilities in her development of ASL, daily activities, basic life functioning, and participated in her educational activities.
Starting at a community college and finally ending up at Gallaudet University in Washington DC, something she had wanted to do since high school. In spike of life's many setbacks, she always picked herself up and carried on toward her goal. Through it all she always volunteered and tutored those worse off than herself. Finally in May 2003 she graduated from Gallaudet University with a Bachelors of Arts in American Sign Language with minor in Deaf Studies with a GPA of 3.5.
After graduating Tallie went to work for th North Carolilna School for the Deaf in Morganton, North Carolina. There she worked with teen-age girls. She advised them to dream big and to go after their dreams. She loved the job. She would say that one day the girls would hate her and the next day they would give her hugs. She loved it!! She knew she was making a difference with these girls. She always tried to take her own life experiences and teah the girls how to avoid making some mistakes.
One personal story about Tallie that I saw shows how really amazing she really was. Several years ago, she came to visit us and a neighbor came over to say hello. He brought his own two grandchildren who were also deaf. These two children were painfully shy. Tallie realized this and smiled and started to communicate with these two children with sign language. Within minutes these two children were smiling and laughig and signing back with glee. This was what made Tallie special.
The phone rang at 3:00 AM on Mother's day 2004. It was a Durham Police officer. "Is this Carol Barden?" She asked. I said "Yes" and the officer said, "Ok, a police officer will be there shortly to talk with you". Steve and I waited almost an hour for the police officer to arrive. When she did she handed me a piece of paper and said to call this telephone number. As soon as I saw the number I knew it was about Tallie. That's how we learned that my youngest daughter Tallie had been murdered and thus began the nightmare that continues to this day.
- Carol Barden
The Tallie M. Antolin Memorial Award
"Our Deaf Survivors Center expresses
our heartfelt appreciation for your commitment
to the Deaf Community and Deaf victims/survivors
of sexual and domestic violence."
2016 - Inger Riley