Bill was born in the small town of Blossburg, Pennsylvania on June 22, 1927, he was the only child of Louise and Harry Taylor, his early life was spent with his aunt, parents and grandparents nearby. His grandfather Taylor introduced him to fishing, which continued to be one of his favorite past times for the remainder of his life.
He passed away on June 10, 2019 in Arcata. At his bedside was his wife of 63 years, Helen Taylor, and daughter-in-law Erin Taylor, both of Arcata. It was only two weeks shy of his 92nd birthday.
He joined the Navy out of high school in 1945, at the age of 17 and served two years in the Pacific. Prior to serving his country in World War II he had also reached the level of Eagle Scout in 1943. Aboard his ship, the ATA 176, he was an electrician, spending most of his enlistment in Southeast Asia. He was eventually discharged to civilian life, where he attended Mansfield State University for two years and then transferred to Bucknell University, where he finished with honors in chemistry, matriculating in June 1950.
His plan had been to attend medical school, but unfortunately his father died suddenly after graduation. He returned back to Mansfield and the family business, which included a movie theater, real estate and various stores.
He was accepted to Temple Medical School in 1956, but had one further job to do before leaving Mansfield. It was at that time that he met his future wife, Helen Russell, on a blind date set up by her eighth grade students. They were married on July 7, 1956 in Saint James Episodical Church, where his parents and grandparents had been married. While Bill was in medical school, they had two children, Mareen Elizabeth and William Russell, and then Thomas Harry was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in April 1960. By this time Bill had begun his internship at Harrisburg Poly Clinic Hospital.
Always the outstanding student, he won the American Medical Association student new physician award in 1960. Residency followed in pediatrics at Saint Christopher’s hospital for sick children in Philadelphia. Interested in further training, he was awarded a fellowship in pediatric chest disease at the University of California Los Angeles Medical Center. The family moved across the country where he was named associate professor at the university and eventually moved south and became a professor of pediatrics and chairman of the pediatric outpatient department at the University of California Irvine.
Never one to turn down the opportunity for further education he then proceeded to a pediatric pathology fellowship in 1973 and 1974 at Montreal Children’s Hospital, moving the family from Huntington Beach to Canada. After the fellowship he returned to Children’s Hospital of Orange County and UCI, where he was named professor of pediatric pathology. He practiced there until retirement in 1991, after a being named chief of staff and a board member of Children’s Hospital of Orange County.
Complete retirement didn’t suit him well, he and Helen moved to an avocado farm in San Diego County near Temecula. They spent 10 happy years raising avocados, fruits and dried flowers before selling the farm and moving to Arcata to be closer to his three grandsons.
Although he loved the practice of medicine nothing took the place of family, friends and particularly vacations. These trips included: fishing, sailing, skiing, bicycling and multiple visits to family members and friends. He took particular pride in the accomplishments of his children and their spouses, which included lifeguards, lawyers, doctors, Olympic athletes and business executives.
He is survived by his wife Helen Taylor, Mareen “Reenie” and Greg Boyer, Wiliam and Carolyn Taylor, Thomas and Erin Taylor and by his seven grandchildren — Natalie, Sarah, Andrea, Sandy, William, Russell and Jack Taylor — and his faithful dog, Duke.
A member of the Christ Episcopal Church in Eureka, a memorial service will be held there on June 22 at 1 p.m., on his 92nd birthday, with refreshments to follow.
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