Obituary for Richard Henry "Papa Dick" Taylor
Services for Richard Henry "Dick" Taylor, 86, of Start, will be held at 10:00AM Friday, May 31, 2013 at Woodlawn Baptist Church with Rev. Pat Lofton and Rev. Roger Johnson officiating. Interment to follow in Start Cemetery under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home-Rayville, LA. Born on February 19, 1927, Mr. Taylor was the youngest child of the late Henry and Minnie Harvey Taylor, also of Start. He was the grandson of George Houston Taylor and Leila Doughty Taylor of Start, and Joseph Pierce Harvey and Josephine Fields Harvey, of Forksville, MS.
He graduated from Start High School in 1944 and enlisted in the United States Navy duringWorld War II. Mr. Taylor spent much of his time in the Pacific campaign, including several months near the island of Peleliu. He continued to serve throughout the war and additionally re-enlisted for service in the Korean War.
On July 18, 1947, he married the love of his life, Mary Sullivan. Prior to their engagement, Richard often joked of his unconventional means of courtship. On one occasion, after a few short flying lessons, he barnstormed young Mary Sullivan's family home in a friend's single-engine plane, only to crash land in a tree in her family's front yard. On another occasion, he purchased a musical horn for his car, and would play "Mary Had a Little Lamb" each day as he passed her home at Crew Lake. Their lifelong love remained steadfast for one another throughout their journey. In 2012 they celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.
To all that knew him, he will be remembered as an honest, loyal and loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend.
"Papa Dick" as he was known by grandchildren and friends loved wildlife, the outdoors and his deer camp at Old River on Glasscock Island. He spent much of his free time hunting and telling tall tales alongside his lifelong friend, the late Harlan Moore, as well as his son Randal and his grandchildren. He was employed by Texas Gas throughout his adult life and additionally started a company of his own in real-estate and rental properties.
Mr. Taylor both believed in and exhibited the strong values of self-reliance, ingenuity, and common sense. Throughout his life, he also contributed considerable time towards the betterment of his community, including service as a board member for the Start water system until his death.
In, 2003, at the age of 76, Mr. Taylor publicly professed his acceptance of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, into his heart. He openly spoke of forgiveness as a cherished value in life, and felt strongly that all should continuously work to forgive others, just as Jesus has forgiven us.
He was preceded in death by one sister, Willie Mae Griffin, and one brother, Charles Houston Taylor. He is survived by his wife, Mary Sullivan Taylor, his daughter Dianne Taylor Letlow and husband Johnny of Start, LA, his daughter Gloria Taylor Overstreet and husband Franklin of Dallas, TX, his son Randal Richard Taylor and wife Kim of West Monroe, LA, his nine grandchildren Paul Letlow and wife Shelley of Start, LA, Matt Letlow and wife Heather of Rockwall, TX, Charles Barnett and wife Shannon of Fort Worth, TX, Chad Barnett and wife Jeana of Phoenix, AZ, Chandler Barnett of Dallas, TX, Luke Letlow and wife Julia of Denver, CO, Sarah Taylor Raymond and husband Daniel of Monroe, LA, Lindsey Taylor Nadler and husband Rich of West Monroe, LA, Chelsea Taylor Brasell and husband Blake of West Monroe, LA, fourteen great-grandchildren, Olivia Letlow of Start, Ashleigh Letlow, Allyson Letlow, and Marshall Letlow of Rockwall, TX, Hope Taylor Barnett, Caden Barnett, and Landrie Barnett of Fort Worth, TX, Cole Barnett, Sloane Barnett, and Tate Barnett of Phoenix, AZ, Caroline Raymond, William Raymond, and Lizzie Jane Raymond of Monroe and Braley Brasell of West Monroe, special nephews and niece William Eugene Griffin of Palm Springs, CA, Ricky Griffin of Winnsboro, LA, and Cherie Griffin Bach of Raeford, NC.
Pallbearers will be grandsons.
Visitation will be 5:00-8:00PM Thursday, May 30, 2013 at the Woodlawn Baptist Church in Rayville.
Online registry/condolences: www.mulhearnfuneralhome.com
Mulhearn Funeral Home