Harold A. Taylor, 98, lifetime resident of Ponca City, died Friday, Dec. 22, 2017, with family by his side. A memorial service will be held at Trout Funeral Home Chapel on Wednesday, Dec. 27, at 2 p.m. The family will receive family and friends immediately following the service.
Harold was born and raised in Ponca City on Aug. 22, 1919 and was the son of Charles E. and Lola Taylor. He had three brothers who preceded in death, Charles, Jack and Bill.
In 1941, prior to World War II, he flew from New York to South Africa with Pan American Airlines to set up an air base before the war as an airline mechanic. He was drafted during WWII as crew chief in the Army Air Corps and dropped the first load of paratroopers and equipment in Normandy in 1944. His unit was involved in every major battle and never lost a plane.
He married Lillian Taylor at Riverside Church in New York City on May 21, 1942. Lillian was the love of his life who he affectionately called “Friend.” They were married for more than 65 and half years. Together they had three children, Susan, Steven and Pat.
He was a farmer who loved to be outdoors. Every summer when the kids were growing up, he provided a two-week vacation for his family. When the kids left the nest, they began traveling the world because Lillian loved history and wanted to experience all the places she had read about in the National Geographic Society magazine growing up. She passed her love of travel along to her family who were fortunate enough to have numerous family trips to many destinations, domestic and international, but especially to England, Mexico and Venice, Italy (Harold’s favorite). Together, they enjoyed Australia, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, Scandinavia, Turkey and Greece to name a few. They enjoyed the food, the places and meeting people in every country they visited.
He was very active in and an avid supporter of the Ponca City Aviation Booster Club. He baked the biscuits and made the gravy for many years! He also was a member of and supported both the American Legion and the VFW.
Together, they enjoyed life to the fullest and enjoyed family and many lifelong friends. After Lillian passed away in 2007, he continued his travels with his children to places such as Cozumel, Mexico (one of his favorites) and enjoyed numerous cruises because you only have to unpack once! He was an exceptional father who loved his family. He loved life, adventure and world travel. He also continued Lillian’s practice of giving gifts to her friends by presenting boxes of chocolates, jars of jam or other items he thought his friends would enjoy.
He is survived by two daughters, Susan Pickren, of Decatur, Ga. and Pat Price and husband Bill, of Ponca City; son, Dr. Steven B. Taylor, of Dallas, Texas; sister-in-law, JoAnn Smith, of Tulsa; nieces and nephews, Val Taylor, of Tustin, Calif., Jacque Taylor Temple, of N.J., Terri Pletcher and husband John, of Canyon, Texas, Charlotte Burton, of Tulsa, Ralph G. Smith and wife Jackie, of Yukon and Carolyn Brady and husband Jim, of Tulsa.
The family would like to personally thank Via Christi Village staff members for providing their care and support and kindness to our father during the past two and a half years. Thanks to Kerry, Jackie, Anita, Michelle, Leticia, Betty, Pam, Brooke, Sabrina, Jennifer, Mark, Jessica, Lucy, Keith, Brenda, Jan, Sharon, Dana, Mel, Rebecca, Carl and Cindy to name a few. We would also like to thank Mitch and Kristel from Humanity Hospice. He had many friends (and other staff members too numerous to mention) at Via Christi who will miss his quick wit, his giving nature and his big smile. He was so loved and will be missed by so many.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests celebrating his life by honoring him with a donation to the Ponca City Aviation Foundation, Building Fund, 2401 N. Waverly Street, Suite 15, Ponca City, OK 74601.