Born on September 13, 1935 in Johnson City, Tennessee to Elizabeth and John Paul Taylor, he had one sister, Elizabeth Collingsworth of Kingsport, Tennessee. He is survived by three children: Sherry (Bruce) Hankins of Batesville, Arkansas; John (Stephanie) Taylor of San Diego, California, and Diane (Scott) Rix of Memphis, Tennessee. Grandchildren: Evan Paul Taylor of San Diego, California and Sheena Robinson of North Carolina and two great-grandchildren. Sisters-in-law Ruth (Bud) Fox, Phyllis Ramey, Deborah Ramey, and brother-in-law Tom (Lucy) Ramey, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A graduate of Holston Valley High School in Blountville, Tennessee, he served in the U.S. Navy from 1957 to 1961 aboard the USS Lake Champlain and the USS Boxer. He began working at Tennessee Eastman Company in Kingsport, Tennessee in 1961 and in 1975 he transferred to Arkansas Eastman Company as a shop inspector. He served as a maintenance foreman prior to his selection in 1984 as an engineering technologist and was a contracting inspector upon his retirement on November 19, 1999.
In 1958, he married Martha Lynn Ramey and they were married for 58 years until her death on September 16, 2016. They enjoyed fishing, dancing, and going to auctions together. Many people will remember his garden at the corner of Pioneer and Douglas and driving by seeing him resting in his chair in the shade.
John was the ultimate handiman. He was a master electrician and did his fair share of carpentry work and plumbing. He worked on the construction of the first Habitat for Humanity House, worked on building the Independence County Humane Shelter, and worked for several years in updating the Four Corners Apartments. But for John, the majority of his time after retirement was given to the maintenance and upkeep of the First United Methodist Church in Batesville until he could no longer climb ladders. When several of the old stained glass windows needed repairing, he removed them, searched all over for comparable colors and textures of glass, and then spent countless hours reworking them; he also helped install the elevator in the church. For several years he worked with the United Methodist Men building handicapped ramps. He was a member of the Chaney-Huddleston Sunday School Class and served others at the Saturday morning breakfast.
Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 13, at First United Methodist Church in Batesville with Rev. Justin Ledbetter officiating. Burial will follow at Oaklawn Cemetary under the direction of Roller-Crouch Funeral Home of Batesville.
Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.
Pallbearers: John Ellis, Tim McKinney, Clark Nail, Steve Richman, David Smith, and Mike Wilson. Honorary pallbearers: Chaney-Huddleston Sunday School Class and the Saturday morning breakfast crew.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 615 E. Main Street, Batesville, AR 72501.
The family wishes to express their appreciation to the nurses and staff of Wood-Lawn Nursing Home and Arkansas Hospice for the care of their father. A special thanks is also extended to Rebecca Richman and many other angels for their attention to JT.
His row of sunflowers were enjoyed by many and will be missed.