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William B. Taylor

Posted By Wendy On August 14, 2017 @ 9:37 am In Obituaries | 11 Comments

In Memorial

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.

Condolences for the family of “William B. Taylor”

Condolence from Terry Becker on August 17th, 2017 7:33 pm

It is so sad to see a long time friend and fellow teacher pass. Bill and I taught together from 1971 to 2001. Our last meeting was at a fellow teacher’s retirement party several years ago.
He has left a legacy of tales and memorable moments for all who knew him.

Safe Journeys my friend.


Condolence from Patricia Harrington on August 18th, 2017 8:12 am

Bill’s obituary is a lovely overview of the life of a man who meant so much to, and touched the lives of, so many people. He will be missed and remembered fondly for the special way he touched the lives of Academy students, colleagues and so many friends. I think that Bill would be pleased to know that his “Christmas pants” live on; my memories of him will also.

Condolence from Richard Dumas on August 18th, 2017 10:41 am

Bill was my dear, dear friend.

My life is so much better because our paths crossed for so many years. Rebecca and Bill were so much more than friends of mine…they were an integral part of my family.

We shared so much together. I’ll always have a place in my heart for Rebecca, and a place with my soul for Bill.

Be strong, keep going one step at a time.

With my sincere condolences to your entire family.

Richard Dumas

Condolence from Anne Keller on August 19th, 2017 10:06 am

So sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. I will never forget the great times we shared while working at Woodstock Academy. My 3 children remember Bill as the teacher who let them out of class to register to vote. I’m glad the “Christmas Pants” will live on!

Condolence from Jeannine Spink on August 19th, 2017 10:23 am

My condolences to the family. Bill was really nice to me and very patient when it came to computers, especially building what I needed. I often have to remind the “youngsters” today that I come from the era of the manual typewriter with Mrs. Parkerton, then moved on to the electric typewriter. Had no clue about a computer until I returned to work at Pomfret School. If it wasn’t for Bill, I don’t think I would have survived the computer generation in the beginning. His accomplishments, without question, are remarkable, but his personal caring is what I remember most. But, of course, his “green pants”.

Condolence from Luana Becker on August 19th, 2017 10:28 am

When I learned of Bill/s passing from a fellow WA colleague, Dan Gill, so many memories came flooding back. I taught with Bill at WA from 1970 until my retirement in 1997. To put it simply, Bill was my good friend. His memory will live on in my heart as well as in the hearts of those whose lives he touched.

I have tried to put the memory of his Christmas pants out of my mind but find it can’t be done!

Condolence from Maryam Boroujerdi-Rad on August 25th, 2017 12:47 am

I was so saddened to hear about this loss. Mr. Taylor was one of my all time favorite teachers. He was the reason I am in my field today. I remember taking his psychology class in WA ’96 or ’97 and it had such a profound effect on me. I often think about the many times he would stop the class to help us students process a difficult situation one or more of us was going through. Because of him, I ended up getting my PhD in psychology and think of the impact he has had on my life often. I also taught for 12 years and endeavored to be the kind of teacher he was. He will never be forgotten and will be in my thoughts and prayers for many years to come. Thank you for having such an amazing impact on my life.

Condolence from Jeffrey and Patricia Susla on August 28th, 2017 4:56 pm

We send our heartfelt condolences to Bill’s family and mourn their loss. We too have many fond memories of working along side Bill at Woodstock Academy during our tenure there. He brought many a smile to our faces with his wit and humor.

Condolence from Jane Fowler on September 30th, 2017 5:00 pm

He was known as “Bill” to most, but was “Willy” or “Billy” to those of us who knew him from the ’40s and ’50s on Shelter Island, NY. We remember our mother saving the Theodor Seuss Geisel drawings for him. Willy’s delightful letters to us talked of “slithering” off the ferry boat, “sliding” down Dickerson Road and “oozing” up the hill to our house. He cherished the Easter eggs that we decorated especially for him, and he kept them until they smelled. Billy was part of our lives for nearly 70 years, including winters in Florida. There was water skiing, hunting, hanging out and many hours of talking – about everything. Willy, we will miss you forever, and love you as long as we live. I say “we” to include my brother, Ted Dickerson, and my sister, Jean Dickerson, who might write their own notes – maybe. Willy was our little brother….

Condolence from Liz Taylor Bagley on April 9th, 2018 9:59 pm

I was so sorry to see the notice of my cousin Billy’s passing. His father and my father were brothers, brought up in Richmond, VA. My father was Carroll Taylor, the youngest brother. Although I never met Billy and his sister Nikki in person, we were only a year apart and my Uncle Billy would write the most fun letters to us, many times including stories about Billy and his sister, so I feel that I knew them some thru those letters. The correspondence that he and my father shared brought a lot of fun to my dad. I loved reading about (my cousin)Billy’s life…he must have inherited some of his father’s quick wit and enthusiasm for life! It seemed a full and wonderful life with a loving family. I would love to get in touch somehow, if possible. My address: Liz Taylor Bagley, 2800 Cove Ridge Road, Midlothian, VA 23112. Whenever my Uncle Billy visited, we were solidly entertained. He and my father both had great senses of humor. The last time he was here was when my father died in August, 1977, and his humor helped us all during that sad time. I am so sorry that I wasn’t able to find my cousin Billy while still here. (I have been searching for years, actually.) I know a great many people have loved him and please know that I share his loss with his family and friends.

Condolence from Michael Manz on October 22nd, 2018 1:38 pm

Mr. Taylor was truly one of a kind and when I think back on high school I always remember his stories, his thoughtful manner and caring nature. Thanks for being such a great teacher Mr. Taylor.

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