Richard Taylor

Rank: SMSgt

Entered Into Eternal Rest

Richard Taylor Jr., 85, of Santa Maria, CA passed away on January 10th, 2021. He was born in Salem, West Virginia on December 18th, 1935, the eldest of four brothers. He grew up in Akron, Ohio where he lived until joining the Air Force at the age of 17. He moved with his family to Santa Maria, CA in 1972 after retiring from the USAF after 20 years of service. He retired at the rank of SMSGT (E8). He served in Vietnam as an elite Combat Control paratrooper. Upon moving to Santa Maria he worked in various jobs in the oil industry, including positions with Tretolite and Shell Oil, ultimately retiring again from Chevron USA.

He received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Hampton Institute, Hampton VA, and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Golden Gate University. He was passionate about education, not only for himself but for his children and grandchildren.

He loved traveling with wife, Maureen, especially to England. He was an avid reader and member of Toastmasters. He was a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan passing on the day the Browns won their first playoff game in 25 years, beating their arch rival Pittsburgh Steelers, 48 37. His greatest hobby, however, was being super-fan for all of his grandchildrens academic and sports endeavors.

Richard is survived by his children, Sheryl Kneupper (Jerry) of Ft. Worth, TX, Donna Hiltner (Loren) and Gary Taylor of Santa Maria, CA. He is also survived by brother John Edward Taylor of Eagle, Idaho; grandchildren Allison Westbrook, Brandon Westbrook, Matthew Hiltner, Lyndsey Hiltner, Kaci Taylor, Zakry Taylor and Jordin Taylor; great-grandchildren Gavin & Micah Rodriguez.

Richard was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Maureen (Wells) Taylor, in 2016. Additionally by his parents, Richard Howard Taylor and Dalma Mildred (Springer) Taylor; brothers Lawrence Oudgar Taylor and Francis Kay Taylor.

We would like to express our deep gratitude to the caregivers and staff of AAA Kindness Care Home in Santa Maria for their compassion and service. We are eternally grateful. We are also grateful for the friendship of Bonnie Hales.

We look forward to celebrating his life with family and friends once circumstances allow.

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