Robert E. (Bob) Taylor, 83, of Harrington, DE passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at home surrounded by his family. Bob was born January 28, 1938 at Milford Memorial Hospital to Lela Parker Taylor and James Edward Taylor and was encouraged early and often to be active in the community. Embracing this directive he was a member of the 4-H Club and the Boy Scouts and a volunteer builder of Mr. W.A. Wheeler’s “Wheelers Park.” All accomplished by utilizing the pedal power of his main mode of transportation, his bicycle.
As a lifelong member of Asbury United Methodist Church he welcomed every opportunity to make a joyful, albeit an admittedly almost awful, noise unto the Lord, participating in all of the choirs from Junior to Cathedral. Bob also valued his service as Sunday School Superintendent, Lay Leader and president of the Methodist Men. Remaining close to his classmates throughout the passing years Bob served as President of the Class of 1956 of Harrington High School, and enjoyed participation in baseball, basketball, soccer, the Drama Club, and FFA.
While still in high school, he enlisted in the Delaware National Guard as a private; following his graduation from Goldey Beacom College in 1958, Bob went on active duty, eventually serving a total of 12 years after which he was honorably discharged as the commanding officer of HQ Battery 2nd Bn. Immediately jumping back into community service, Bob became a charter member of the Jaycees and joined the Harrington Fire
Company. During his lengthy tenure with the Fire Company, Bob held many offices and positions including: President, Fire Chief, and Ambulance Captain. In 1991 he was named Fireman of the Year and in 2015 was honored as the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Association Fireman of the Year.
Following his active duty stint, Bob returned to Harrington where he fulfilled another youthful dream, marrying the love of his life, the girl-next-door Betty Hendricks, daughter of Franklin H. and Mary Hendricks, on May 26, 1963. In 1982 the couple purchased Taylor’s Hardware Company from Bob’s parents and successfully ran the business for the remaining 24 years of its 75 year existence, retiring in 2006. While in the hardware business Bob served as Chairman of the Board for the Eastern Hardware Association.
In 1987 Bob was elected to the Board of Directors of the Delaware State Fair, an institution and tradition he’d grown up with and relished attending and participating in each summer. In 2014 he was named an Honorary Director. Continuing his dedication to community service, and sponsored by his father J. Edward, Bob joined the Harrington Lions Club in 1988, eventually serving as Club President and Region Chairman for 22D and receiving accolades and awards including the Melvin Jones, Ralph Helm, and James McCarty Fellowships.
He lived an abundant, dedicated life filled with joy, laughter, and love. A good faithful man, a loving husband and father who’s legacy will live on. Predeceased by his parents J. Edward and Lela P. Taylor; sisters Susan T.Heflebower (Jim) of West Virginia and Nancy T. Green (Joe) of Harrington.
He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years Betty; children, Teresa Taylor (Becca) of Hagerstown, Md., Robert A. Taylor (Dana) of Harrington, and Mary K. Phillips (Steve) of Wilmington; grandchildren Alycia, Krystian (Cody), Alexis, Erica, Patrick, Riley and Rachel; great-grandchildren Kanani, Akhilles, Nevaeh, Grayson, and baby girl (due in Sept); and his grandpups who brought him cheer and laughter Elroy, Summer, and Lexy.
A firemens viewing and funeral will be held at Harrington Fire Co, Station 50, 20 Clark Street, Harrington. Viewing will be Tuesday June 1, 2021 from 6 to 8pm. The family will receive visitors Wednesday June 2 from 11am-1pm followed by funeral services at 1pm. Interment with firefighters honors will follow immediately after at Hollywood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Asbury United Methodist Church, 200 Weiner Ave., Harrington, DE 19952, Harrington Lions Club, PO Box 208, Harrington, DE 19952 or Harrington Fire Co., 20 Clark St, Harrington, DE 19952. Arr. by McKnatt, Carpenter & Baker Funeral Home, Harrington. Letters of condolence may be shared with the family at www.loflandandmcknatt.com.
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