G. Raymond Taylor
G. Raymond Taylor
  • July 16, 1923 - December 13, 2017
  • Tequesta, Florida

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Taylor, G. Raymond "Ray" of Tequesta left us on Wednesday December 13 at the age of 94 after a long and happy life. Born on July 16, 1923 in Sheffield England to Captain Montague and Cora Taylor. He studied hard, majoring in chemistry and metallurgy. His early studies were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II in 1939 and he was soon involved in the secret development and testing of the British Whittle Jet Engine for the RAF. Heavy Luftwaffe bombing raids made life hectic. Concurrently, he was a motorcycle dispatch rider for the Air Defense Authority and later the Home Guard as he scrambled through the rubble streets at night. At the War's end, he followed the sport and was a member of a British team racing in international motocross in Belgium. Immigrating to the USA in 1948, he entered and finished well in the American National Championship Enduro, "The Jack Pine", a two day, 500 mile rough run through the backwoods of Michigan. In 1951, he moved south and found Florida where he settled in West Palm Beach. Ray married three times during his life. The first was to his fiance from England, Ilene. She unfortunately became the impatient and flighty one. Next, was the love of his life, Joy, who was from Buffalo, NY. Together they raised a beautiful daughter, Devon, still living in the area she is an accomplished horsewoman like her mother. Sadly Joy died from cancer at the age of 51, far too young. Wife number three, another great love, Gladys from Ohio, provided another idyllic union. Gladys and Ray traveled the world together after Ray retired. Sadly, she too died of cancer in 2008. Ray enjoyed his US working career selling British cars like Rolls Royce and Jaguar for over 40 years locally and was also a publisher's agent. There were a couple of illustrious forbears in his family tree. His great great great grandfather, John Brown, a Liverpool Irishman who joined the Royal Navy and was 32lb gunner serving on Admiral Lord Nelson's battleship, HMS Victory in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 against the combined Spanish and French fleets where he returned with both arms and legs despite many who did not. Commissioned for his bravery, he headed up the Liverpool American Chamber of Commerce at the end of the war of 1812. This was instrumental in getting American ships back into English ports, for which he received many more honors. A famous poet was discovered by Ray's great great Uncle, John Taylor of Bakewell Derbyshire, who was a Don at Oxford. He founded a publishing partnership, Taylor and Hessey in Fleet Street London. At poetry readings in coffee shops, he signed up a promising young John Keats, and printed all his works for the rest of his short life. Keats died of TB in Rome at the age of 23. Thus, we all know the famous line - "a thing of beauty is a joy forever." John Taylor's brother, James, married Mary Browne Bennet, the Navy man's granddaughter in Bakewell in 1864. The second of their 10 children, Wilfred, was Ray's grandfather. Ray was a member of the Episcopal Church. He was licensed by the Bishop of South Florida as a Chalicer and Lay reader. For many years, he read the lessons at both Holy Trinity Church and Bethesda by the Sea. He will be laid to rest in a graveside ceremony at Lake Worth Memory Gardens Cemetery, 3041 Kirk Road, Lake Worth on Friday December 22 at 10am. If you care to remember his favorite charity, it's "Smile Train" which provides surgical help for babies born with cleft palates or harelips.