Donnie Brooks Taylor

Donnie Brooks Taylor
World Trade Center

Military Air in Fatherhood

In the Taylor family, Donnie Taylor played the bad cop. He had spent four years with the Air Force and there was a certain military bent to his parenting of Donnie Jr. and Simone, his 16- year-old son and 14-year- old daughter, his widow, Sarah, said.

There was only homework, no TV, after school. If Daddy said the sky was blue, it was the shade of blue Daddy said.

"In every household you have a good guy and a bad guy and he was the very stern parent," Mrs. Taylor said. "The children had a lot of respect for him. They really loved their father."

The Taylors, who grew up in Harlem and were high school sweethearts, separated eight years ago, but that did not make Mr. Taylor, 40, an office services assistant with Aon Corporation, any less involved in the lives of his children. When he disappeared in the collapse of 2 World Trade Center, his son was about to go over his list of college picks with his father.

"All it's done is made both children very strong and very determined in what they've set out to do," Mrs. Taylor said of the attacks. "They're not going to let this setback stop them from the dreams they and their father had."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 16, 2001.

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