Obituary: John W. (Jack) Taylor
Retired Senator John W. (Jack) Taylor was born in Chicago, November 22, 1935 to Harvey M. and Pauline Taylor and went to be with our Lord and Savior here in Steamboat Springs on April 22, 2020. He was raised on a farm in Auburn, Iowa, with his brother, Robert I. Taylor, which they still own and manage. Both of the boys attended Iowa State University, were in the Navy ROTC program and played college baseball. Jack played second base for the 1957 Iowa State varsity baseball team that won the Big 7 Conference championship and went on to place third in the College World Series in Omaha. He was named All Conference at second base.
After college Jack entered the Navy and was based on an Ice breaker that participated in the International Geophysical Year operation in Antarctica. After being in the military Jack moved to New Orleans and worked for Boeing Aerospace on the Apollo Moon Landing Project. From there he was sent overseas to Kuwait on a management team with Peat Marwick Mitchell staffing the first oil refinery. This is where he got his large corporation experience. Jack’s small business experience and ownership started when he moved to Steamboat Springs in 1969 and established his own real estate company, and was later a hands-on and active partner/owner/operator in a small coal mining operation located at Mount Harris.
After closing the mine Jack had an opportunity to run for the Colorado State Legislature in 1992 when he was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives. He served there 8 years and then another 8 years in the Colorado Senate. Along with his hard work for the people in rural Colorado he was instrumental in providing better telecommunication access in Northwest Colorado. A quote from one of his metro peers is “He’s a bulldog on those rural concerns that might otherwise get run over by the Front Range point of view”. Perhaps his most unique legislative status is he is believed to be the only member ever of the Colorado General Assembly to have played in a College World Series.
When Jack moved to Steamboat Springs he met Geneva where she worked in the local bank and they were married in 1973. Their daughter, Vicki, now lives in Yuma, Colorado, is married to Trent Bushner, who is on the family farm and is a County Commissioner. They have two children, Brianna and Dakin. Jack loved his family dearly and tried to spend as much time with them as possible always trying to go to the grandchildren’s county fair in Yuma every year.
Jack was a member of the Kiwanis Club and served on several boards including the Soda Creek Ditch Board. He and a friend partnered and established the men and women’s softball league in the early 70’s. They coached teams and managed the league until it became so large they turned it over to the City. He also coached a boy’s baseball team.
One of his main activities was participating in the Republican Party. He chaired the Routt County Republican Party twice and he and Geneva partnered several times to chair various Republican campaigns. Even with all this his favorite pastime was to be home and working the irrigation ditches in his neighborhood and mowing the Strawberry Park roads and some neighbors driveways with his favorite machine, John Deere Tractor.
Jack is also survived by his brother, Robert I. Taylor of Houston and nephew, Craig Taylor of San Antonio, Texas.
Jack had accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior many years ago but was not active in the church until he had a stroke in 2013. He then became a member of the Concordia Lutheran Church and barely missed going to church on Sundays from then on.
Jack was laid to rest in the Steamboat Springs Cemetery on Monday, April 27 with his wife, Geneva, daughter Vicki and grandson Dakin and wife Katie at his side. As we entered the cemetery there was the Steamboat Fire and Rescue with their tower truck with lights flashing and flying high the American Flag in Jack’s honor to show their respect of his service to our community, the State and Country. Also, the American Legion Post 44 performed a full honors military service.
A memorial will be planned when the regulations are lifted hopefully in early summer. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking donations be made to the American Legion Post 44, P. O. Box 772797, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487.
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