Gene Owen Taylor
February 1, 1933 –
March 16, 2012
Published in The Daily
Sentinel on March 23, 2012
Gene Owen Taylor was
a very giving man to the community...but he was so much more. Gene passed
away at the Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado March 16th,
2012. His family, whom he loved dearly, surrounded Gene. On February 1,
1933, Gene was born in Oberlin, Kansas, to Owen O. and Evelyn Ida Taylor.
Soon to join the Taylor family was Gene's younger sister, Ann.
In 1940, Gene and his family moved to Grand Junction. He was raised in
their family home at the corner of 7th and Patterson, which at the time
was considered way out in the country.
He loved playing sports, fishing with his father and riding his horses,
Midget and Toni. Gene attended Tope Elementary School (the inaugural class),
Grand Junction Junior High and Grand Junction High School. He was a 13-time
letterman in football, basketball, baseball and track. Receiving the Joe
Biggs Trophy for the most outstanding all-around athlete was an accomplishment
Gene always was proud of. He graduated in 1951 and went on to play baseball
(his first love in sports) and study Pre-Med at the University of Colorado.
Gene was a four-year letterman in baseball while attending CU, later receiving
the prestigious award and induction into the University of Colorado's
"C Club", exclusive to an athlete's lettering four years in
After graduating in 1955, Gene played professional baseball with the Baltimore
Orioles organization where his fondest memory was rooming with Brooks
Robinson in his 1956 spring training. He played three years in professional
baseball, from Washington, D.C., to Tijuana, Mexico, before beginning
his own family life right here in Grand Junction.
Gene married his high school sweetheart, Nancy Ann Maurer of Palisade,
Colorado, in 1954. Gene and Nancy raised six children. Their children
include Amy Dyer (Jon), Duke Taylor (Kim), Marshal Taylor (Irene), Jenny
Parsons (Scott), Tony Taylor (Shelly), and Roseanna Taylor. Gene was blessed
with 13 grandchildren, Cayenna Hanna (Joe), Dylan Dyer, Myra Dyer Norton
(Sam), Elli Taylor, Haley Taylor, Tasha Taylor, Jamie Zwickl (Adam), Katie
Taylor, Kelby Strauch (Derrick), Cooper Parsons, Emma Taylor, Maddie Taylor,
and Owen Taylor.
Gene was also blessed with four great-grandchildren, Henry, Ari and Hadara
Hanna, and Reid Zwickl.
In 1958, Gene purchased Treece Rod & Gun, re-naming it Taylor Rod
& Gun, later to become Gene Taylor's Sporting Goods.
Gene Taylor's success was not just limited to having a business that survived
for more than 50 years. His success came from his sincere and genuine
generosity of giving back to the community, especially the kids. He gave
to numerous organizations throughout the years without asking for anything
in return, knowing that it was just the right thing to do.
Eventually, Gene's first love came back full circle when he started the
Gene Taylor's American Legion Baseball Team in 1972. Through the American
Legion Team he not only touched the lives of hundreds of young ball players
but also captured the love and admiration of their families.
Gene gave his heart and soul to the ball club and to this day the Gene
Taylor's American Legion Baseball Team is still in full swing. Gene has
been acknowledged in Grand Junction for his involvement with youth baseball.
The Alpine Bank JUCO World Series will forever display Gene's name in
the Home Run Alley. The Colorado Dugout Club also recognized his years
of dedication to youth baseball when Gene was inducted in the Colorado
Baseball Hall Of Fame in the inaugural class of 2010.
Gene remarried in 1976 to Beverlee Ann Plowman of Grand Junction. Beverlee
brought three sons into the marriage and four grandchildren, Kent (Laura),
Andy and Cody, Michael (Patti), Lauren and Cole, and Steve. Gene and Beverlee
enjoyed each other in their later years of marriage. They spent time together
at the one place Gene felt most at home, his cabin on the Uncompahgre.
Here they rode their horses, fished and watched abundant wildlife.
After Beverlee's passing, Gene continued to spend time at the cabin with
his faithful companion and friend, Abby. Abby, Gene's Jack Russell Terrier,
was there to the end, always at Gene's side with her love and devotion.
His parents, Owen and Evelyn Taylor and his wife, Beverlee preceded Gene
in death. His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren survive
Gene. Gene is also survived by his sister, Ann Muhr Boyd(Dusty); nephew,
Andy Muhr (Brenda); Kyle and Cammi; nieces, Kathy Hart (Michael), Rebecca
and Ian; Bev Campbell (Dave); Julie and Spencer; aunt, Dorothy Harr Burns
and several cousins.
A viewing will be held at Callahan-Edfast Mortuary, 2515 F Road, Grand
Junction, from 1 - 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 25th, 2012. A Celebration
of Gene's Life will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 522
White Avenue, Grand Junction, at 2:00 p.m., Monday, March 26th, 2012.
Please consider memorial contributions to Hospice & Palliative Care
of Western Colorado, 3090B N. 12th Street, Grand Junction, Colorado 81506.
Gene gave generously over the years to Hospice because he believed deeply
in their mission and quality services. At the end, it was this same generosity
that was given back to him. We thank Hospice for their amazing staff that
took such excellent care of our Dad in his final months. We will be forever
grateful to all of you.