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Memories & Candles

“Taylor and I were both West Virginians who were graduated from Woodberry Forest School in the same class. We managed to spend time at various school...Read More »
1 of 26 | Posted by: Charlie Bourland - Savannah, GA

“My deepest sympathies and condolencs to Taylor's family. I had the pleasure of knowing Taylor through SAH, sharing his love of vehicle documentation,...Read More »
2 of 26 | Posted by: Tom Adamich - New Philadelphia, OH

“My deepest condolences to Betty,mary and Edwin. I was priviledged to enjoy the association with the Society of Automotive Historians and to read the...Read More »
3 of 26 | Posted by: Susan P. Sanborn - Torrance, CA

“My deepest sympathy to Taylor's family. I was privileged to know Taylor as a colleague at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrtion for more...Read More »
4 of 26 | Posted by: Allan Kam - Bethesda, MD

“I was privileged to be Taylor's colleague and friend for the better part of 20 years at NHTSA. While he was always a thorough and prodigious worker,...Read More »
5 of 26 | Posted by: Coleman Sachs - Annandale, VA

“Taylor not only gave us his friendship, he gave many of us a summer tradition. His hospitality and warmth will be missed by all of us. ”
6 of 26 | Posted by: Mark

“I'm very sorry to learn of Taylor's passing. He was a kind and gentle soul with a wonderful sense of humor. I will miss our outings in his Bentley...Read More »
7 of 26 | Posted by: Steven Troxel - Alexandria, VA

“I learned of Taylor's death via of friend from schooldays in Huntington. My memories go all the way back to Miller Elementary School. When I read...Read More »
8 of 26 | Posted by: Delora Taggart Hashinger - SC

“I was Joyce Sargent's companion for 30 years. When Joyce died in March, Taylor wrote me the most beautiful and thoughtful letter. Joyce was only one...Read More »
9 of 26 | Posted by: Robert B. Norris - Washington, DC

“I am very sad to learn of Taylor's passing. He was an inspiration to all of us as evidenced through his many passions in life, including all things...Read More »
10 of 26 | Posted by: Daniel Tucciarone - VA

“To Taylor's sisters and brother, Very sorry that your big brother is no longer with us. Had just seen him at Hershey, when we chatted for a while....Read More »
11 of 26 | Posted by: A. James Wohlmuther - MD

“Kindest regards and sympathy to Edwin and family... ”
12 of 26 | Posted by: Jack Dennis - Clearwater, FL

“Taylor was in his way a Renaissance Man with so many varied interests and pursuits, which he willingly shared with others. He also could be quite the...Read More »
13 of 26 | Posted by: Manuel Knight - Washington, DC

“Meeting and getting to know Taylor was only a recent privilege, but I can tell you I am deeply grateful for it. Taylor was a gifted, intelligent, and...Read More »
14 of 26 | Posted by: Terry Snyder - Wilmington, DE

“My deepest condolences to all of you. Taylor will be missed. I knew him because he was a member of the Washington Airline Society. We knew about...Read More »
15 of 26 | Posted by: Edward C King - Rockville, MD

“We were very sorry to hear of the sad passing of our dear friend Taylor. I have known Taylor for 33 years and always found him to be very...Read More »
16 of 26 | Posted by: Alex & Jenny Barton-Hibbs

“We are so sad about Taylor leaving us. We LOVED him very much. He was a wonderful Person, we are so lucky to have known him. We did share a LOVE for...Read More »
17 of 26 | Posted by: Betsy McLain - Venice, FL

“I have many fond memories growing up with the Vinson family. At that time you lived on 12th Avenue a block away from our home. Your father and mine...Read More »
18 of 26 | Posted by: Lawrence E. (Larry) Hite - FL

“mary blair, so sorry to hear about Vinson. He was always a treat to be with, and I will always have fond memories of times we spent together, with...Read More »
19 of 26 | Posted by: willia eckerberg

“SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS. TAYLOR AND I WENT TO CAMMACK AND LIVED JUST A FEW HOUSES FROM EACH OTHER GROWING UP. HE WAS A FINE YOUNG MAN. ”
20 of 26 | Posted by: NANCY DIEHL - PROCTORVILLE, OH

“I am shocked and deeply saddened to learn of Taylor's death. We were colleagues at NHTSA for more than 25 years. Taylor's extensive knowledge of...Read More »
21 of 26 | Posted by: Enid Rubenstein

“Over the years I had the pleasure of working with Taylor on various traffic safety projects. Since I was in a field office, it was always by phone,...Read More »
22 of 26 | Posted by: Robert E. Weltzer, Ph.D. - Denver, CO

“My friend Taylor had a great sense of humor and a deep, erudite passion for cars. I will miss greatly our conversations about car design, history,...Read More »
23 of 26 | Posted by: Omar Abou-Zied - Fairfax, VA

“i have such fond memories of Taylor, and he will be missed by all who knew him. my thoughts and prayers are with you all. no one had a sense of humor...Read More »
24 of 26 | Posted by: emily McLean - ft.myers, FL

“I was so sorry to hear of the passing of Taylor. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this time, Bets, Blair and Vincent. ”
25 of 26 | Posted by: Dody Gwinn - Spring, TX

“Please accept my heartfelt sympathy in the loss of Taylor. I have never met him personally, but he must have been a unique and interesting man. I...Read More »
26 of 26 | Posted by: Catherine Beadles - Aiken, SC


Z. Taylor Vinson, 76, of Alexandria, Va., died Sunday, October 25, 2009.

Born in Huntington on July 7, 1933, a son of the late Taylor and Betty Jane Vinson, he attended Cammack Jr. High, and was a graduate of Woodberry Forest School in Virginia, and Princeton University where he was president of Key & Seal Club and vice president of the Princeton Triangle Club. After serving in the U.S. Army in Germany, he spent a year in advertising in New York. Mr. Vinson then obtained a law degree from the University of Virginia where he was president of the international law society and originated the publication that his successors developed into the Virginia Journal of International Law, the nation’s first student-published international law review.

A member of the California Bar, Mr. Vinson was an associate at the firm of O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles until moving to Washington, D.C. to join the International Finance Corporation, the private development arm of the World Bank, In 1967, he joined the U.S. Department of Transportation, where he served for 36 years in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), retiring as senior attorney in 2003, at that time the agency’s longest-serving employee. Among other things, Mr. Vinson drafted the regulation on the center high-mounted stop lamp, required on all passenger cars beginning with the 1986 model year.

A lifelong automotive enthusiast, Mr. Vinson was president of the Society of Automotive Historians in 1993-95, and editor of its Automotive History Review from 1995 to 2009. He was internationally known for having one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of automotive sales materials, and was consulted on many ocasions by the National Museum of American History.

As a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, he was presented to Queen Elizabeth II in 2004. He was also a member of the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C., the Order of First Families of Virginia, and the Order of St. John. He also served a term on the Advisory Board of Woodberry Forest School.

He is survived by sisters Betty Jane Helander of Mountainside, N.J., and Mary Blair Koehl of Dallas, Pa., and brother Edwin N. Vinson of Huntington, as well as by numerous nephews and nieces.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, Huntington, WV on Saturday, October 31, 2009 with interment following in Spring Hill Cemetery, Huntington, WV. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. A memorial service will be held in Washington, DC at a later date.