Kenneth William Taylor, 69, of Windsor, died Sunday evening, Feb. 3, 2013, at the Western Missouri Medical Center, Warrensburg.
He was born Aug. 18, 1943, in Steubenville, Ohio, the youngest son of Harry Ross Taylor and Emma Marie (Miller) Taylor.
He grew up in Steubenville, leaving when he was 17 to join the United States Air Force, enlisting on Sept. 5, 1960. His first base assignment after basic training was Carswell AFB, Fort Worth, Texas.
It was in Fort Worth that he met the love of his life, Ruth Ann Allred. They were married 6 weeks later on January 15, 1962 and enjoyed over 51 years of marriage. He was stationed in Korea a short time after their oldest daughter, Scarlett, was born. After his year tour was up, he came back to the states to pack up his wife and daughter and they moved to Niagara Falls, New York. During their four-year tour in New York, Ken and Ruth were blessed with two more daughters, Kristina and Laura. They enjoyed exploring New York and Canada while stationed there. He was next stationed in Missouri for two years before receiving orders for a five-year assignment in Bitburg, Germany. While there, they bought a small camping trailer for weekend travel. Those five years of traveling with his family were some of the happiest memories of his life. While still in Germany, he and Ruth became the parents of their long awaited son and last child, Steven.
Ready to come back to the states, Ken and Ruth enjoyed a short tour in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ken soon received orders for RAF Alconbury, in England. Ken spent 18 months in England before the Air Force moved them yet again to Ramstein, Germany for a final two years.
Returning to the states, he was stationed at Ellsworth, AFB, in Rapid City, South Dakota. He retired from the Air Force on January 1, 1988 as a Chief MSgt., the highest rank a Non-Commissioned Officer can achieve, an accomplishment that both he and his family was very proud of. After working as a printer for a short time in the Box Elder school system, he decided he wasn’t quite ready for full retirement and went back to work at Ellsworth for several more years at the youth center on base.
In 1998, Ken and Ruth decided they were ready for a change and moved to Windsor, and he worked at Whiteman Air Force Base, Knob Noster, Mo., as the manager of Outdoor Recreation Services until he completely retired from military service in 2005. He then worked for the Windsor and Shawnee Mound school districts as a bus driver for a short time.
He worked hard all of his life to provide for his family and for their future. For him, his wife and family always came first. His wife Ruth was the love and joy of his life. As a Dad, he was an avid supporter of any activity his children were involved in and spent countless hours volunteering his time in those areas. He also enjoyed spending time with his sister, Barbara. He was a man of honor and integrity and if he made you a promise, you could take that promise to the bank. But most of all, those who knew him will remember his warm and sometimes wacky sense of humor. He loved nothing more than a good joke and to see how far he could pull someone’s leg.
His hobbies were fishing, traveling and exploring new areas, and boating. He taught his grandchildren and most of his great-grandchildren to fish. He was a member of the Windsor United Methodist Church, Windsor and the Non-Commissioned Officers Association.
Survivors include his wife, Ruth, of the home; two daughters, Scarlett Lawler, Surprise, Az.; and Laura Santiago, West Plains; a son, Steven Taylor, Phoenix, Ariz..; nine grandchildren, including Zach Ferrier, whom they raised from the age of three; four great-grandchildren; a sister, Barbara Ray, Owensboro, Ken.; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Kris Denny, on Nov. 14, 2012; and a brother, Harry Taylor.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m., Friday, Feb. 8 at the Hadley Funeral Home, Windsor, with Rev. Peggy Eshelman officiating. The family will receive friends Thursday evening from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the funeral home. The family suggests memorial contributions to Hope Lodge-Kansas City, 1120 Pennsylvania, Avenue, Kansas City, Mo 64105, or contributions may be left at the funeral home. Condolences may be left online at www.hadleyfuneralhome.com.