Friday, May 24, 2019

Ward “Gilbert” Taylor

Ward “Gilbert” Taylor, age 93 years, a resident of rural Vienna, passed away Thursday evening, November 15, 2018, at 11:35 PM at Baptist Health in Paducah, Kentucky.

Gilbert was born March 14, 1925 in the Bloomfield Township of Johnson County Illinois. He was the son of Elbert and Edna (Whitnel) Taylor.

On February 8, 1947, Gilbert was united in marriage to Verna McNeely in the old Taylor United Methodist Church. Together, Gilbert and Verna enjoyed over 71 years of marriage.

In addition to his loving wife, Gilbert is survived by: 2 sons – Ronald Gene (Joyce) Taylor of Metropolis and Gregory Neil (Vicky) Taylor of Olathe, Kansas; 3 grandchildren – Amy (Corey) Jeffords, P.T., of Metropolis, Michelle Taylor, D.V.M., of Olathe, Kansas and Andrew (Bonnie) Taylor of Olathe, Kansas; 5 great grandchildren – Daniel Noah Jeffords, Isabelle Grace Jeffords, Paityn Julianna Jeffords, Logan Neil Taylor and Olyvia Nadene Taylor; a brother – G. Howard (Doris) Taylor of Boca Raton, Florida and a sister – Catherine Brumley of Vienna; as well as nieces, nephews, other relatives and a host of friends.

In addition to his parents, Gilbert was preceded in death by a granddaughter – Julie Ann Taylor; a brother – Guy Taylor and a sister – Elberta Choate.

Gilbert was a 1943 graduate of Vienna High School. He served from 1943 – 1946 in the United States Navy. Gilbert served in the Asiatic-Pacific theater of operation during World War II aboard the U.S.S. Leonia (AK-128). He was honorably discharged from military service on May 25, 1946 with the rank of Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class.

Following his military service, Gilbert returned to Johnson County and worked for a time driving a truck. He picked and peddled apples as well as cutting and hauling stave bolts. Following his marriage to Verna, the couple moved to Chicago where Gilbert worked as an automotive mechanic.

Gilbert was employed by Union Carbide at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. He worked in the maintenance department and special projects division. Gilbert Taylor was an extraordinary man. His insight into trouble shooting and dedication to his work resulted in 2 patents which increased productivity and saved the firm significant resources. Gilbert retired on March 31, 1987 with 34 years of service.

Gilbert was a member of Modern Woodmen of America and the Johnson County Farm Bureau. He enjoyed raising cattle and is fondly remembered for his love of gardening and working in his yard. Gilbert raised a vegetable garden each year (including this year) and enjoyed sharing produce from his garden with friends and neighbors. At one time, Gilbert also had a sizeable strawberry patch.

Gilbert was a thinker and a tinkerer. He could fix absolutely anything.

Gilbert and Verna had been faithful and active members of the Vienna First United Methodist Church since May 1965. Through the years, Gilbert, along with a number of Methodist Church men including Bud Briggs, Mac Obourn, Bob Jones, among others, undertook a number of projects. These included: sectioning off the church basement into Sunday school rooms rather than relying on folding dividers and partitions; building and finishing a new communion table and refinishing the original table; building stage backdrops and scenery for church plays, and once Gilbert even designed and built a scale-model frame of a ship for a parade float. Gilbert and Verna had been active members of the Methodist Church senior’s group and had enjoyed social outings and “domino game” get-togethers. Gilbert and Verna also enjoyed camping and traveling and had the opportunity to visit Hawaii together.

He was dearly loved by his family and he will be missed by all who knew him.

A service honoring the life of Gilbert Taylor will be conducted Monday afternoon, November 19, 2018, at 1 PM at the Vienna First United Methodist Church. Pastor Joe Richard will officiate.

Burial will be in the Taylor Cemetery north of Vienna. Military graveside rites will be accorded.

Visitation will be held Sunday, November 18, 2018, from 3 PM – 6 PM at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna and from 12 Noon – 1 PM Monday, November 19, 2018, at the Vienna First United Methodist Church.

The family wishes to express their deep appreciation to the staff of Baptist Health in Paducah for their care and genuine concern for Gilbert and his family. A special thank you to Matthew, Seth and Amy for going above and beyond in their professionalism and service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 1349, Vienna, Illinois 62995 or to the Julie Taylor Scholarship, c/o Covenant Theological Seminary, 12330 Conway Road, St. Louis, Missouri 63141-9718.

To share a memory of Gilbert or to leave an online message of condolence for his family, please visit

Arrangements have been entrusted to Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.

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