TAYLOR, James Richard “Jim”, age 100, formerly of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, passed away Friday, January 22nd, 2021. J. Richard or “JR” as he also was known by some was born in Whittier, California on May 18, 1920.
It is with heavy hearts that the family members say goodbye to our father, friend, and guide. The only child of James Taylor and Nina Catharine (Pearson) Taylor, Jim was raised in a close Quaker family under the shadow of the Great Depression. He attended Penn Middle School and Riverside High School, where he was a gifted student with a talent for hijinks. After graduating, he went to Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, to study under the watchful eye of his uncle, the Dean of the Mathematics Department.
While in Richmond, Jim met and wooed Virginia Ashby, who would later become his wife and the mother of his 4 children. His education was interrupted by WWII, he volunteered and entered the Army Air Corps as an officer, studying meteorology and becoming a payload specialist for the Air Transport Command in Cairo, Egypt.
After the war, he returned to Richmond, completed his degree at Earlham, then headed to Indiana University where he studied Meteorology and worked with atomic particles. Once again, his education was interrupted and he moved to Longmeadow, Massachusetts with his wife and 2 young boys to work for Monsanto. Work was interspersed with raising a growing family, church, bridge club, square dancing, camping, lots of snow shoveling, and coaching baseball. He and Ginny traveled west with their 2 daughters to Kettering, Ohio, in 1968 while the boys were in college. Jim and Ginny joined David’s United Church of Christ, where they sang in the choir and enjoyed being active members of the church community. Jim retired from Monsanto Mound Laboratory in 1986, after over 35 years of service with Monsanto. Then he entered into the next stage of his life, volunteering at Kettering Memorial Hospital, becoming an active member of the Mound Amateur Radio Association, going on bike tours with Ginny through the hills of New England, and traveling to visit friends and family.
After over 60 years of marriage, Jim lost Ginny to cancer. Jim was blessed to find love again in the heart of Lynne Solomon Taylor. With Lynne at his side, he began another stage of his life, continuing to ride his bike, volunteering at Kettering Hospital and working with the radio club until after his 97th birthday. Throughout his life, Jim was driven by a dedication to family, friends, and country. He will be missed.
Jim is survived by his wife, Lynne, Lynne’s children, Molly and Cody, his children Robert R Taylor and his wife Karen, James W Taylor and his wife Rita, Laura E. Yates and her husband Mickey, Carolee Jakes and her husband Mike, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and the many friends who will miss him dearly. A private interment will be held Friday, January 29 in Richmond, Indiana. A celebration of his life will be scheduled at a later date.