Ray B. Taylor passed away November 9, 2018 in Gallatin, Tennessee, where he had resided with his daughter Carol and family the past eight years. A memorial service will be held Sat., July 20, 2019, at 1 p.m. at the Congregational Church in Lusk, with graveside services to follow.
He was born November 8, 1920, to William Franklin Taylor and Elvira Pearl (Smith) Taylor near Johnstown, Nebraska. He attended elementary school in Sioux County Nebraska. n 1933 the family moved to Niobrara County in the Kirtley community northeast of Lusk, Wyoming. Ray finished his elementary education at Node and graduated from Lusk High School in 1937, and Barnes School of Commerce (1938 - 1940) in Denver, Colorado. He helped work the family farm until he started work for George Gibson at the Midwest Hardware as a clerk and appliance service man certified by Maytag.
He was called in the draft of July 1942 and enlisted in the Army July 7 at Fort Warren, Cheyenne, WY. He served twenty-three continuous months on the front lines as a gunner in the African, European Campaign with the 3rd Infantry.
Before leaving the states, he met Lorraine Livermore through a mutual friend, Charlene Scace Beech (Ray's classmate from Lusk). Upon returning from the war, they were reunited, and on January 20, 1946 they were married at the Lusk Congregational Church. Two children were born to this union. After the war, he returned to the Midwest Hardware, primarily as an appliance installer, maintenance and repair service until the store closed. He then worked for the City of Lusk as a meter reader and meter maintenance for both electric and water departments. When the superintendent moved Ray became the interim superintendent until they hired another engineer. He then worked for Hollon's Lumber Company until hired by Cal Gas and Petrolane Gas Companies as a delivery driver, retiring in 1985.
Ray actively served in the community. He was a Cub Scout Master; Niobrara Civil Defense director; a life member of VFW serving local, state and national levels. He was State Commander for State of Wyoming, 1989-1990; a life member of American Legion; Lusk Elks Lodge #1797, serving as Exalted Ruler in 1995; Niobrara Alumni Board; and a member of the Congregational Church.
In September of 1981 Lorraine passed away, and in 1982 he married Helen Lange Mottor, a widow of an army friend from Hinsdale, Massachusetts. She passed away in 1992. After their passings, he spent several years in Lusk during the summer and the winters in Tucson, Arizona with special friend Juana Gras. He moved to Tennessee in 2010 to spend his remaining years with Carol and family.
Ray enjoyed life, traveled in all 50 states, wrote his memoirs, and enjoyed exchanging stories.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wives Lorraine and Helen; his brother and wife Don and Fern Taylor; his sister and husband Frances and Bob Johnson; and nephew Larry Johnson.
He is survived by daughter Carol Smith (Tony); son Wayne Taylor (Ginger), grandsons Anthony Smith and Cory Taylor; granddaughters Michelle Morton and Tiffany Taylor; and great-granddaughters Zoe Morton and Laeya Taylor; stepsons Art Mottor (Irene) and family