1943 – 2017
Port Charlotte, FL – William Bolling Taylor, husband, father, grandfather, entrepreneur, teacher, mentor, and friend, passed away of natural causes at the Bayfront Hospital in Port Charlotte, Florida on July 28, 2017.
Bill, or Mr. Taylor, as most of you knew him, was born in New York City on December 31, 1943 where his mother, Marion Young Taylor (stage name: Martha Deane), broadcast the birth of he and his twin sister live from the maternity ward. To celebrate the happy event, the artist Theodore Gissel, better known to most as Dr. Seuss, created a baby book for Bill and his sister, Nikki. Due to the esteemed nature of both of his parents jobs, Bill had an incredibly special childhood, of which most could only dream.
While he did grow up with privilege, he also knew the value of hard work. For anyone who ever worked on a home improvement project with Bill Taylor, you quickly learned of his work ethic. Bill earned his undergraduate degree from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and, due to President Kennedy’s epic words, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” he became a teacher. This decision changed the lives of so many of us for the better.
After spending one year at Manchester High School (Manchester, CT), Bill began teaching at Woodstock Academy (Woodstock, CT) in 1969; he spent 39 years in his profession by the time he retired in 2007. In his time at Woodstock Academy, he was a soccer and baseball coach (he also coached soccer at Annhurst College for several seasons), a department chair, a technology coordinator, a class advisor, and a friend to the thousands of students who sat in his classroom, or entered his world. There are people who are married now because they met, and held hands, in the back of Mr. Taylor’s classroom. There are dozens of people who are now teachers because of Bill Taylor, his son included. There are myriad of people who realized their own passions in life because Bill Taylor mentored and helped guide them through their impressionable years. There are many of you reading this who are better people because of your relationships with Bill Taylor. Do you remember the Voice of Democracy Speech at WA? Every year, juniors would be required to write and deliver a three to five minute speech that would demonstrate the student’s feelings about their country. It was such a chore to do, but how many of us, for the first time, thought about our relationship to this country and how it made us feel? Bill Taylor did that for all of us; he helped us realize who we were, how we felt, and how we fit in to the bigger picture. Bill Taylor made us better humans.
After retiring from teaching, Bill and his wife, Rebecca traveled the country in an enormous RV. It was the trip of a lifetime. They moved to Florida to a home on a canal, and a boat in the slip. It was heaven. Rebecca and “the Love of Her Life,” settled in for many wonderful years.
Bill Taylor is survived by his wife of thirty-six years, Rebecca Taylor; his son, Greg Smith and his wife Robin; his grandson Brendan Taylor Smith and his wife Kait; his granddaughter Mackenzie Marie LeBlanc and her husband Keith; and, of course, his seventeen-year-old cat, Cupcake.
While we cannot fit all of the unique stories that make Bill such a special man into this tribute, we do want to assure you of at least one tradition: the Christmas Pants will live on! We will never forget him, or the line he used to start every class, “Good people, I am happy you are here.” Well, Mr. Taylor, we are happy you were here.
A memorial service will be held at Gilman Funeral Home, 104 Church Street in Putnam, CT, on Saturday October 14, 2017 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that any donations be made to the Woodstock Academy Endowment Fund. For memorial guestbook visit www.GilmanAndValade.com.