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J. William “Bill” Taylor | Passages

J. William Taylor  - San Juan Masonic Lodge No. 175
J. William Taylor
— image credit: San Juan Masonic Lodge No. 175

Graveside memorial service was held June 27, 1 p.m., at Valley Cemetery for J. William “Bill” Taylor, who passed away April 25, 2009.

He was 90.

Worshipful Master Brad Smith and Masonic Lodge No. 175 led the service for Mr. Taylor, who served as worshipful master in 1952. Service was June 27, 1 p.m., at Valley Cemetery.

Mr. Taylor was born in Friday Harbor on Dec. 28, 1918 to Jesse and Dorothy Taylor. He will be very much missed by his loving family and those who knew his engaging smile, gift of conversation and joyful personality.

He grew up in Friday Harbor, a happy childhood with friends he treasured all his life, even though he was an only child. He had an interesting ancestry from both parents. His grandmother on his father's side was half Cowlitz Indian, making Bill an elder of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe in his later years. He also traced his lineage to John and Mary Taylor, his great-grandparents, back to Spotland Bridge in Rochdale, England on one of his trips to Great Britain. On his mother's side, a relative sent Bill his genealogy showing that the family went all the way back to Celts.

He graduated from Friday Harbor High School in 1939, two years after his original class of 1937. Bill's graduation was delayed because of symptoms that arose as a 17-year-old from a head injury sustained in a car accident when he was 10 and he had a pressing need for brain surgery. Because of the surgery, he was kept from serving in the military during World War II.

Bill went to work for Sears and Pan American Airways in Seattle during the war. He returned to Friday Harbor in 1945. At the same time, his future wife, Patricia, came from Duluth, Minn., with her mother to visit family friends on San Juan Island on May 25, 1945.

Patricia was introduced to Bill by some girlfriends in the middle of Spring Street of Friday Harbor, while he was driving his old “rabbit car” used for netting rabbits at night, a really fun thing. During the summer months, they both worked at the Friday Harbor Fish Cannery, side by side. Actually, Bill was Pat's boss.

In their free time they went to dances, picnics, boating and parties. Pat finished her senior year at Friday Harbor High School, graduating in June 1946. They were married on July 21, 1946. Their elder son, Jim, was born on September 1947 and their younger son, Paul, was born in December 1950.

Bill served on the Friday Harbor School Board and assisted his mother, Dorothy, in Sunday School. Joining Pat and their two wonderful sons, in 1952 they traveled cross country to Minnesota in their new pickup that Bill had fixed up for playing and sleeping across the country when they needed to. Their first trip was to visit Pat's grandmother, aunts and uncles.

They moved from Friday Harbor to Bellingham, to Edison and then to Samish Island in 1957. Bill joined the Masonic Lodge and Order of the Eastern Star and enjoyed going through the chairs. He always had an excuse to go back to Friday Harbor for visits to the boys' grandparents.

In 1965 they moved to Sedro-Woolley, then to Bow Hill and finally to Burlington, making them residents of Skagit County for 56 years.

Bill was a people person and loved working on committees with other people. Bill was very active in volunteer organizations throughout his life, serving with the Campfire Girls Council and as president of the Samish Island Conservation Corporation, which was instrumental in saving Padilla Bay from development in the early 1960s.

After his retirement, he became a full-time community volunteer in the following organizations: Burlington-Edison Kiwanis Club, Skagit County Council on Aging, Chinook Enterprises (founding board member), Housing Authority of Skagit County, and the SKAT Committee on Bus Transportation.

A long-term member of Allen United Methodist Church, he really enjoyed the long-term friendship and fellowship of its members. He continued to volunteer his time up until his declining health prevented his further involvement. He cherished his time in these endeavors and his efforts were recognized by many with many successes and accomplishments too numerous to list.

His hobbies and interests, outside of community volunteering, involved activities with his family, including traveling, camping, attending athletic events, canoeing, picnicking and socializing with friends. He enjoyed making things and working in his shop, such as wooden boats, airplanes, kites and games for his children and later his granddaughters. He enjoyed watching his two granddaughters grow up into young women and they were a great source of his joy and pride.

His favorite saying was: "Every day is a good day; some are better than others." He will be missed by all who loved him. His engaging smile and gift of conversation will always be remembered by those who knew him.

Bill is survived by his wife of nearly 63 years, Patricia; son and daughter-in-law, James (Jim) and Susanne Taylor; son, Paul Taylor; and granddaughters, Jennifer and Kathy.

Memorials preferred to Allen Methodist Church or to Meals on Wheels.

— Family of J. William "Bill" Taylor

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