Those of you who read my blog regularly already know that I moved my husband Bill to a nursing home at the end of September because I could no longer care for him at home. If you’re new to this blog, you can read more about that here. He may have been declining even before he moved to the nursing home. He wasn’t eating as much, and because he was losing strength, he was getting harder for me to lift.
After the move, his health steadily declined. His appetite continued to decrease, and as a result, he lost a lot of weight and became very weak. Last Friday, he quit eating altogether, and early yesterday morning, he passed away. Below is his obituary along with a poem I wrote that will be included in the program for his service. You’ll also find a link to a recording of me singing a song I’ll try to perform during the service.
Bill L. Taylor October 18, 1942-October 30th, 2012
Bill L. Taylor, 70, longtime resident of Fowler, Colorado, passed away on October 30th, 2012 in Sheridan, Wyoming. At his request, a graveside service has been scheduled for Monday, November 5th, at 11:00 a.m. at the Fowler cemetery.
He was born in Fowler, Colorado, on October 18, 1942 to Marlyn William Taylor and Francis Maxine Smith Taylor. At an early age, he was stricken with rheumatoid arthritis which affected his legs and eyesight. He attended the School for the Deaf and Blind in Colorado Springs, graduating in 1963. He then attended Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado, and ColoradoStateUniversity in Fort Collins where he received both an A.A. degree in 1968 and in 1969, a B.S. degree in business administration and business data processing.
He then moved to California in 1969. He was employed by SwimQuip in El Monte as a computer programmer. In 1971, while still working at SwimQuip, he started a company called Tashi which built closed-circuit television systems for the visually impaired. He was later hired by J.B.Lansing in Northridge as systems manager. After being laid off in 1985, he worked with his sister Sandy in South Pasadena, doing transcriptions.
He later returned to Fowler, Colorado, where he opened The Fowler Computer Store which operated for ten years. He also invested in real estate, managed properties, and served on the city council and chamber of commerce.
On September 10, 2005, he was united in marriage to Abigail L.
Johnson, (Abbie) of Sheridan, Wyoming, where they took up residency. He suffered a stroke in January of 2006 and again in January of 2007 but survived both with limited capacity, being paralyzed on one side. In spite of adversity, he and Abbie lived happily in Sheridan until his death. He enjoyed playing chess and other games, reading, sailing, and listening to sports on the radio. He was a great inspiration to all who knew him.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Edwin, who died at age one. He is survived by his wife Abbie, two sisters: Sandy Taylor of South Pasadena, California, and Shirley Thayer of Lady Lake, Florida, and two grandnieces. Memorials can benefit the SheridanSeniorCenter at 211 Smith Street, Sheridan, Wyoming82801 or the Fowler Historical Society at 114 Main Street, Fowler, Colorado, 81039.
Soft, gentle, they caressed me,
once milked cows, fed livestock, gathered eggs,
tapped computer keys in a busy office,
glided back and forth along Braille pages,
placed a ring on my finger, as he said, “I do.”
When one hand no longer worked,
the other was just as reassuring.
Now, they’re both gone
but will be remembered.
Contrary to what the song says, I’m already walking in the sun. I’ve had to deal with the inevitability of Bill’s passing since Friday, and I’m finally at peace, knowing he has gone to a better place and is smiling down on me while I’m writing this and reaching for yet another Kleenex. Every once in a while, I’ll still succumb to what author Larry McMurtry calls a bomb of grief, but life goes on, and I think that’s the way Bill would have wanted it.
Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver
15 thoughts on “In Loving Memory”
Our hearts go out to you Dear Abbie. there is a shimmering light in heaven now, and those who have passed are the better for being comforted with the loving spirit of your beloved husband, Bill. He is as loved there, in heaven, as he was here, on earth. god bless you and we hope you continue to find peace. Big hug. Deon and Lynne.
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
Thanks, Deon, for your thoughtful words.
Abbie–God bless you both! I read Bill’s touching and impressive obituary and hope that you will share it with Newsreel. Also, I was able to listen to your musical tribute “Stormy Weather.” I am certain that your voice was a source of joy and many hppy times for Bill throughout the years of your marriage. Take care! With sympathy, Alice Massa
Hi Alice, yes, I plan to send the information to Newsreel, but I’ll probably just e-mail Irwin a link to this post. Will worry about that when I get back from Colorado.
I know that one of Bills long dreams was to get married…I am glad he was able to join that with you! Phillippians 4:13 and keeping the faith should help…it’s okay to cry…it’s okay to show emotions…Bill was a great person and I am glad to be able to remember him from when I was younger and the things he taught me.
May God bless you and keep you near HIm!
Hi Beth, thanks for your kind words. Bill and I had seven good years together, and that’s what matters.
Abbie, I’m so sorry for your loss, and so inspired by how you are managing. I love the poem about Bill’s hands. Bethany
Hi Bethany, thank you so much. I’ve had over a week to deal with the inevitability of Bill’s death and am finally at peace with this and glad he’s in a better place.
What a beautiful tribute. You showed such devotion and commitment to Bill and no doubt made the last years of his life so fulfilling. We are so sorry that you did not have more years together on earth, but the years you did share here were truly inspirational to all who knew you. You are in our hearts and prayers.
Hi Carolyn and Bill, thank you for visiting my blog. Please check back often. I try to update at least once a week. You can also subscribe to receive posts via e-mail. I appreciate your heartfelt words.
Abbie, the obituary is done well and gives me more of a glimpse of this dear man I never knew. I will be thinking of you as the days pass and the memories set deeper. I’m sure your seven years together were very special. God bless you.
Hi Glenda, Thank you for your comment. I really appreciate your heartfelt words.
Thanks for singing this song and letting us hear it. Your voice is lovely.
Hi Glenda, I’m glad you liked the song. Fortunately, I recorded it a year or so ago as part of another blog post which is a good thing because when I performed it at the service, it was hard getting through it so I don’t think the quality was as good. I don’t think Bill would have minded, though, and others enjoyed it.