Bill Taylor's Memorial Program

The article below is copied from the program handed out at the memorial service of Mooney M-18 test pilot, Bill Taylor. It was sent to us by Stephen Drane of Kerrville, TX along with the following email:

"I have an obituary for William Wallace (Bill) Taylor who died June 27, 2002 in Palm Desert, CA. I was a young squirt when Bill came to Kerrville with Mooney in 1952. We have kept in touch over the years. I had the pleasure of meeting Bill's mother in 1956 or so. I flew with Bill to Oklahoma City - if memory serves me. Mooney was in one of its many downturns and Bill was looking for flight test work with AeroCommander. Later Bill helped me with my Master's Thesis about - what else - Sales of Business and Utility Aircraft.... I think that all who met Bill had their lives enriched. I certainly know mine was. PS. I like your Mooney Site. I see the only 18 that I flew, N494M, met an untimely end."

In Loving Memory Of

William Wallace (Bill) Taylor, IV

Born: September 24, 1914 Oklahoma City, OK
Died: June 27, 2002 Palm Desert, CA

"Oh that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly
away and be at rest." Psalm 55:6

William Wallace Taylor, IV
Rose Hill Burial Park,
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

We come together today, Sept. 21, 2002, to say goodbye to Bill Taylor, 3 days short of his 88th Birthday. Bill has come full circle. We are standing on the very ground where he buried his father William Wallace Taylor III when Bill was a little boy, 8 years old. In the adjoining plot he buried his mother, Betty Alice Brown Taylor, 72 years later in February 1994. She was 93.

Also in this Holy ground, up the hill a little way is the grave of his first wife, Kathryn Jane Hurst Taylor, mother of my sister Tinker and me. They eloped when they were college students, at ages 23 & 21. They were divorced in 1944- Dad stood here with us on that sad day in November 1971 when she was buried at age 55.

But Dad's first and life long love was flying. He was an experimental test pilot and airplane designer for 40 years. He was very respected in his field. He could tell by the sound of an airplane overhead what type of plane it was. He never lost that love, even when his body was failing him that last few years of his life. He loved golf too. My husband and sons have sweet memories of playing golf with him at The Lakes. Many times when we visited him at Monterey Palms Convalescent Home, the Golf Channel would be on - or any sports channel!

He married Lazetta Taylor and together they had three sons, William Wallace Taylor V, Tracy and Regan. He once told me that those boys "gave him his life back." Granny Taylor loved them dearly and told many stories about them so my sister Tinker and I would know them.

Also buried here is Tafida Farida Curtis Taylor, his wife that preceded him in death in 1997. They lived 20 years in their home at The Lakes Country Club in Palm Desert and he was distraught at her passing. He was not sure where to put her ashes, so his kids made the decision to put them here. The plot was intended for his brother Richard, who died in Sitka, Alaska in 1998. He was buried in a Veterans Cemetery in Sitka with Ken and I in attendance. Bill, Tracy and Regan went with Dad to see his burial site. We all agreed he is where he wanted to be.

When Dad died peacefully on June 27th, he was married to Bette Jo Bartlett Taylor. She and Bill had known each other for over 50 years. She was widowed also. She was an angel during Dad's last three years. She sat faithfully by his side and gave him companionship and love in spite of her own health problems. She made sure his kids were included in his life and decisions. We give her credit and love for helping to connect us. There is a strong bond between us today, facilitated by Bette Jo. She moved to Nashville, TN after Dad's death to be near her sister and family. She is doing well.

So, we say Good Bye to you,
Eagle Bill Taylor
May You Rest in Peace!

The Family of William Wallace Taylor, IV

Preceded in death by:

Father: William Wallace Taylor, III
Mother: Betty Alice Brown Taylor
Brother: Richard Dan Taylor
Granddaughter: Kathryn Frances Koch

Surviving Family:

Wife: Betty Jo Bartlett Taylor
Children: Jane A. (Toni) Erickson and Ken, Enumclaw, Washington.; Tinker Richards and Jay, Sebring, Florida; William Wallace Taylor V, Austin, Texas; Tracy N. Taylor and Melissa, Branham, Texas; Regan R. Taylor and Lynn, Piano, Texas.


Jane Jones, Kenneth J. (Laura) Erickson, Jr., Kristen K. (Steve) Smith, Jeffery M. Erickson, Peter G. Erickson, Peggy (Michael) Giosso, John R. Erickson, Timothy J. Erickson, Anna M. Erickson, Kari K. Erickson, William Andrew (Kathy) Koch, Donovan M. (Terry) Koch, Karen E. Scheib, Steven G. Koch, Whitney (Eduard) Garcia, Brandon Taylor, Megan Taylor.

Great Grandchildren:

Austin, Owen, Dylan and Madelyn Jones, Kaley and Benjamin Gamble, Jack, Gabriel and Dominic Giosso, Campbell and Quinn Erickson, Taylor Rickard, Frank and Jesse Scheib, Andy and Alex Koch, Veronica and Daphne Koch, Victoria and Roman Garcia, Christian DeLaGarza, Patrick Burke

"God tried him and found him worthy of Himself
Wisdom 3:1

20 August, 2003