James W. Taylor
July 12, 1935-October 8, 2017
Born in 1935 to Frank and Cornie (Monroe) Taylor, Jim grew up just off the Golden Mile (aka Stone Drive) on Idle Hour Road, Kingsport, TN. Jim attended Lynn View High School where he was well known for his mischievousness. A retired inspector from Mead Corporation after 32 years, Jim was an avid bowler at Bowlmor and Warpath Lanes. One of his proudest bowling moments happened when he bowled 20 strikes in one game even though it wasn’t a perfect score due to the split in the first frame.
Jim proudly served his country as a Specialist E-4 in the 82nd Airborne Division of the 3rd Army in 1957-58. He completed Basic Training in Arkansas, Jump School at Fort Bragg, and Riggers School at Fort Lee. He completed 33 jumps (including night jumps) during his service. As a member of the Demonstration Show Team, their Captain allowed the team to rig a platform parachute using his personal truck in a show where it unfortunately landed on its top. Two of his three tattoos were military – one was a paratrooper and the other was a funny little creature saying “Jump, Who Me?”
In 1956, he save the life of a beautiful young woman, Don, at Silver Lake in Mount Carmel. She became his wife and the mother of his four children. In 1995, she returned the favor and saved his life while on duty at Indian Path Medical Center. Jim’s third tattoo was “Donna.”
Even though life circumstances prevented Jim from being an active part of his children’s and grandchildren’s lives throughout the years, his children and grandchildren were his pride and joy. He love his entire family with all his heart and soul even through difficult times.
In 1977, Jim graduated from Steed Business College where he authored a short story, “The Golden Mile,” recollecting his childhood memories from the area now known as Stone Drive. This story was later published in “A Living History of Northeast Tennessee: Moonshine and Mountaintops.”
Throughout his life, he laughed, cried, and laughed again. He had a wickedly inappropriate sense of humor that always sparked a twinkle in his eyes and a belly laugh that made those around him laugh with him. Jim was a diehard sports fan, especially for his beloved Braves and Cubbies. A huge UT Volunteer fan, he was also a NASCAR fan, a hunter, and a fisherman. To say Jim was a lady’s man is an understatement as he was always the handsome, charismatic flirt with bright blue eyes who was the life of the party. He always had candy in his pocket, a habit he got from his daddy. His generosity was legendary and often taken advantage of. Jim always saw the best in everyone, even if it meant he ended up with a broken heart.
In 2005, the first signs of dementia crept in. By 2015, Jim was admitted to Life Care Center of Gray. The staff and nurses of LCC of Gray have the family’s utmost appreciation and admiration for their loving care of Jim. An angel-on-earth appeared within his first few days there. His first love, his first wife, Bobbye Eller Milhorn came to visit. Needless to say, his face light up the moment she walked into the room. It was a beautiful moment to witness. The years melted away and they were together at last. She visited every day reminiscing, laughing, and holding hands. Bobbye provided Jim peace and comfort being by his side until his last day.
Jim was proceeded in death by his parents, Frank W. and Cornelia (Monroe) Taylor; his brothers, Lee, Charles (Shorty), and Paul; his sister, Mae Taylor Tate; his bothers-in-law, James Tate and Doug Wampler; his sister-in-law, Nell Taylor; his ex-wife, Donna, and their sons, Richard (Rick) and Raymond.
Jim is survived by his first and last love, Bobbye Eller Milhorn; his sister, Faye Wampler; his son, Randall (Randy); his daughter, Patti; his daughter-in-law, Diane; his grandsons, Travis and Justin (and wife, Meghan) Taylor; his granddaughters, Jessica Taylor, Jennifer Taylor, and Samantha Davison; his great grandson, Bryant Taylor; as well as several beloved aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins from Florida, Georgia, Montana, New Jersey, and Tennessee.
Calling hours will be from 1:00 – 3:00 PM on Sunday Oct. 15th, 2017 at the Johnson-Arrowood Funeral Home. A Celebration of Life will be conducted by Jim’s nephew, Pastor Robert Tate, at 3 pm in the Chapel. Graveside prayers will be immediately following at Morningstar Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to gather at Pratt’s BBQ after the day’s events to share a meal and memories.
In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes you make a tribute donation to Alzheimer’s Association; Alzheimer’s Foundation; or to Petworks on Idle Hour Road.
Johnson-Arrowood Funeral Home of Church Hill is honored to serve the Taylor family.