WEWAHITCHKA, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - David Taunton was more than a judge in a black cloak, he was a man who opened his heart to hundreds.
Judge David Taunton passed on November 8th at 80 years old. But he ;eaves a legacy to last for lifetimes. (WJHG/WECP)
"He always wanted to build a children's home, he always wanted to have what he called a boys ranch," said Judge Taunton's wife, Abigail Taunton.
Together he and Abigail did exactly that, by building the Taunton Family Children's Home in Wewahitchka.
In more than four decades, the Taunton family took in over 400 homeless children, where they worked to give kids a sense of self-worth and value.
"That was David's touch. He could make every child here feel like he was the most important person in the room," said Abigail.
Now with his passing he's left his legacy to his family, where they say he taught them to live beyond the Golden Rule.
"You know he didn't care what you had, he cared how much you cared, and that in itself is how I try to live my life," said his son Wes Taunton.
"The biggest thing I take from life that he showed us was, there was nothing in your past that he wouldn't forgive," said another one of his sons, James Taunton.
Those lessons are just a few of what Judge Taunton wanted to instill in the young lives he touched.
For the most part, kids seemed to listen.
"We've had just a handful that have gone astray and had issues as they've grown up and got older but most of them if they stayed with us, stayed through the program, graduated, we've sent I don't know how many to college," said Abigail.
While Judge Taunton is no longer here, his impact is something that will be felt for lifetimes to come.
"He would want us to make sure that we follow through, and we keep this going, and we continue to take in children, we continue to make sure that everyone feels like their worth and special and that they can do it," said Abigail.
The funeral is Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the gym at Taunton Family Children's Home.
The visitation starts at 10 a.m. and the service will begin at noon.
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