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O.C. "Mike" Taylor

1932 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences
O.C. "Mike" Taylor Obituary
Dr. O.C. "Mike" Taylor passed away surrounded by friends and family Wednesday afternoon, May 15, 2013, at a Fort Worth hospital after suffering a stroke late Tuesday night. Memorial service: 11 a.m. Saturday at United Presbyterian Church in Cleburne. Private burial will be held at a later date. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to United Presbyterian Church, 1510 W. Westhill, Cleburne, Texas 76033; Presbyterian Children's Home, Itasca, Texas; or the . "Doc," as he was affectionately known by family, friends and colleagues, was born Jan. 4, 1932, in Stanton to Orbie and Dorothy Anderson Taylor. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, friend and educator. He enjoyed golf, snow skiing, and ranching in his younger years. In his later years, he enjoyed traveling, great meals with friends and family, and gardening. Dr. Taylor, a self-made man, graduated from Itasca High School. After serving in the Army, he put himself through college on scholarships graduating with his bachelor's and master's degrees from Texas Wesleyan University. Dr. Taylor completed his formal education by earning his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of North Texas in Denton. Dr. Taylor began his career in education as a teacher in the Odessa school system and was quickly promoted into administration when he accepted a principal position in Los Angeles, Calif., and later an assistant superintendent position in Oscoda, Mich. Dr. Taylor returned to Texas in 1965 to serve as superintendent of schools in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and remained in that position until 1976. During his tenure there, his progressive approach to managing the resources for the district resulted in the district later naming an elementary school in his honor. He was active in the community as well and served as Grapevine Rotary's first president when it began in August 1967. In 1976 Dr. Taylor moved to the Beaumont area and accepted the South Park ISD superintendent's position. He said the consolidation with Beaumont ISD, where he served as superintendent following a lengthy federal desegregation case, was the biggest challenge of his career. News reports that year called him a cigar-puffing, tobacco-chewing guy who spent his free time playing cowboy, but said his reputation was that of an able administrator and solid financial manager who was always fair. He retired as the superintendent of the Beaumont ISD in 1989 after dedicating his life to education. Two years later, in 1991, trustees commemorated his contributions to the district by naming the district's career center for him. He touched the lives of many students throughout Texas and served as an inspirational leader among his peers during his service as a school superintendent. Dr. Taylor was elected to serve as president of the Texas Association of School Administrators by his peers and was very active on both the state and national levels in his professional organizations. He was an active member of many civic and community organizations such as Rotary and Chamber of Commerce. As a Rotarian, Dr. Taylor was named a Paul Fellow in Rotary twice during his lifetime. He was active in the Presbyterian Church in the community he lived in, as well as many other civic organizations. After retirement, he served as an adjunct professor for Tarleton State University and was elected to serve on the board of directors of the Region XI Education Service Center where he served as chairman of the board for over 10 years. His philosophy of empowering everyone in his path to be a lifelong learner continued until the day he died. He was an avid reader with an overflowing library and was generous in sharing his books with anyone interested in reading. His generosity was felt by many whose lives he touched. Doc will be missed by all those whose lives he blessed throughout his lifetime. Survivors: His beloved wife of 27 years, Patricia Taylor of Cleburne; his daughters, Sherry Taylor of Arlington and Holly Hancock of Beaumont; grandchildren, Chase Taylor Smith of Denton and Baleigh Hancock of Beaumont; special friends, Ray and Rhonda Crass of Cleburne. Other family members include sisters, Betty Malone of Richardson and Joanne Ferris of Tennessee; sister-in-law, Linda Still of Denham Springs, La., and husband, Mike; brothers-in-law, Jim Cobb of Hurst, Robert Cobb of Magnolia and wife, Anne, Terry Cobb of Beaumont and wife, Charlene, Wayne Cobb of Kenniwick, Wash., and wife, Joan, Carroll Cobb of Las Vegas, Nev., and Larry Cobb of Nederland and wife, Martha; and host of nieces, nephews and friends.
Published in Star-Telegram from May 17 to May 18, 2013
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