Dr. Twitty Junius Styles Ph.D.

Published 5:20 pm Monday, August 23, 2021

Dr. Twitty Junius Styles, Ph.D., 94, passed surrounded by family and friends on Aug. 19.

Twitty was born on May 18, 1927, in Five Forks, a hamlet of Farmville. He was the eighth child of Peter Lindsey and Bertha Ford.

At the age of 5, he moved to Farmville with his father and siblings. He graduated in 1944 from the Robert Russa Moton Jr. High School in Farmville, attended Virginia Union University, where he was president of his class and was inducted into Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and then later returned to the Moton school to teach science. He remembers that Dorothy Vaughan, one of the three African American women portrayed in the movie, Hidden Figures, was his high school mathematics teacher. He then served in the U.S. Army as a microbiologist stationed in Tokyo, Japan, studying parasitic diseases that were infecting U.S. troops during the Korean War. After he was honorably discharged, he attended New York University, where his earned his doctorate in 1963. Twitty and his wife, Dr. Constance Glasgow, came to the Capital District area in 1964, and ultimately settled in Clifton Park.

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For many years, he was an active member of The Boulé (Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity), the Scotia Rotary Club, the Schenectady New York Torch Club, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (in which he served for 75 years) and Post 1498 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He also served for many years on many boards of local organizations including, Bellevue Woman’s Hospital, WMHT public radio, Saratoga County United Way and the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks. The Meritorious Service Award at Union College, the New York State Senate Korean Veterans Award, the Capital District Lifetime Achievement Award, the Capital District National Pan Hellenic Award, the Jesse Ball DuPont Fellowship and five medals for military service are among the many recognitions he received during his life.

Upon his retirement in 1997, Twitty and former Union College professor, Carl George, created UNITAS, a campus-wide organization whose primary mission is to support and encourage diversity, acceptance and a celebration of cultural differences. Today, it is a thriving source of funding to promote diversity, equity and inclusion at Union.

Twitty also spent time contributing to many community organizations and civic endeavors, traveling the world, playing golf and entertaining the company of old and new friends alike.

He is survived by his loving and supportive family: his wife, Connie, of Clifton Park; his son, Scott, of Clifton Park; his daughter, Auria, of Oakland, California; his grandson, Steven and many beloved nephews and nieces throughout the country.

Twitty was predeceased by sisters, Leora and Florence and brothers, Arsenia, Luther, Lloyd, Lawrence and Calvin.

Calling hours will be held on Thursday, Aug. 26, and Friday, Aug. 27, from 4 – 7 p.m., at the Shenendehowa United Methodist Church, in Clifton Park, New York, coordinated by the Gordon C. Emerick Funeral Home. COVID precautions will be in place. Interment will be private.

A public celebration of Twitty’s life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Twitty J. Styles Scholarship Fund at Union College, Office of Scholarships and Grants, 807 Union Street, Schenectady, NY, 12308.