The Rev. John A. "Jack”
Taylor died on July 29, 2011. He was 79 years old.
Rev. Taylor was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma,
on August, 20, 1931, to H. Albert and Sara Ellen (Townsend) Taylor. Rev. Taylor
received his BA from Oklahoma
in 1953 and his Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology in
1956. He was ordained by the Methodist
Church in Stockton, California,
on June 18, 1958.
While in seminary, Rev. Taylor served as assistant to the Dean
of Marsh Chapel at Boston
University, Dr. Howard
Thurman, who would have a profound influence on his ministerial career. Rev.
Taylor served at Methodist churches on the west coast immediately following
ordination before transferring to the Unitarian ministry in 1960 and being
called as interim minister to the First Unitarian Society in Sacramento, CA.
He went on to serve as assistant minister at the First Unitarian Society in Madison, WI before being
called to serve as minister at the Amherst
in Amherst, MA and the Unitarian Universalist Church of
Urbana, IL. In 1968 answered the call to take on the role of minister at the
Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Francisco, a liberal, interracial church
founded by Dr. Howard Thurman. Returning to Unitarian ministry in 1971, Rev.
Taylor began what would be a 25 year long ministry at the First Unitarian
Society of Ithaca, NY. Following retirement he was named minister emeritus by
the Ithaca congregation and chaplain emeritus by
Cornell University. From 1972 until his
retirement in 1996, Rev. Taylor was heard each Sunday morning on "A Word for
Sunday” broadcast over radio station WHCU in Ithaca. He is the author of Notes on an
Unhurried Journey, published in 1991.
Among his many community activities, Rev. Taylor was a member of
the Board of Cornell United Religious Work, a member of the Board of Tompkins
County (NY) Planned Parenthood, president of the Tompkins County NY Religious
Workers Association, chair of the Vietnamese Welcoming Committee (resettlement
of refugees), chair of the City of Ithaca Commons Advisory Board and a member
of the Task Force on Downtown Ithaca. At Foxdale Village,
he was a member of the Corporate Board of Directors, clerk of the Residents
Marketing Advisory Committee, Vice President of the Foxdale Residents
Association and a member of a variety of committees and interest groups. He was
also the originator of Foxdale’s Film Festival.
Rev. Taylor is survived by his wife of 55 years, Barbara R.
Taylor; his daughter, Lyn S. Kalnitz and her husband, Robert of Rochester, NY;
and his son, Scot R. Taylor and his wife, Jana of Ithaca, NY along with their
children, Alexander and Kaitlyn.
A memorial service for Rev. Taylor will be held at the First
Unitarian Society of Ithaca, 208
East Buffalo St., Ithaca, NY on August 28, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.
Memorial donations may be sent to a community service organization of your
Notes of condolence may be sent to his wife, Barbara Taylor,
500 East Marilyn Ave. Apt. H129,
State College, PA