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1937 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Gallery
TAYLOR, James "Jim" Oliver, M.D. Was born to Rosalind, a schoolteacher, and her husband Norman, a Methodist minister, in Phoenix, Arizona on October 11, 1937. He was brought up in a home that was proper, devoted, and rule-following. Shortly after his birth they would move to Riverside, CA where his dad would continue his ministry and Rosalind raised their family of four boys, Greg, Jim, Dick, and John with help from her mother. Jim was a man of simple needs, as evidenced by his gleeful childhood face in the family photo taken on his birthday after hot dogs had been served. His mother lived until past her 90th birthday and is remembered as a woman who never judged and always loved, remaining gently stubborn until she passed. Jim was a lot like her. Norman died too young to heart disease, but left a big impression on his family as a man of hard-work and character, who helped store Japanese-American families' belongings while they spent time in internment camps during WWII. A product of their upbringing, Jim naturally never wanted to make a show of himself, but despite that managed to become quite accomplished in his life. After completing his undergraduate degree at Occidental College in 3 years, he then entered medical school at UCLA where he inspired awe in his fellow students, graduating first in his class. By the time he finished a pathology fellowship in Costa Rica, served in the medical corps in East Pakistan during the Vietnam War, and married his first wife Anna, he was in his 30s. He went on to help launch a revolutionary concept - the community health center. At the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) he was part of a small pioneering group that modernized a medical relief station into a full-fledged primary and emergency care center now providing over 300,000 patient visits annually. This community of providers and researchers spearheaded community-based studies on hypertension and other chronic diseases. Jim continued his commitment to public health and delivered direct patient care as Chief Medical Officer until his retirement in 2011. It was at the health center that he would fall in love with Mary Jordan and they would later marry on the Ides of March in 1975. Mary and Jim lived in Winthrop, MA until only last year, and shared a home by the Atlantic Ocean for over 3 decades. Jim was the loving father of Kim Woodhouse and husband Erik of Oakland, California, and James J. Taylor and wife Janet of Revere. He was the devoted grandfather of Meghan and Samuel and will always be remembered as their Papa. Jim loved to travel. Mary and he traveled even more as they aged, going to Peru, South Africa, Italy, Russia, and Vietnam. After retirement, Jim studied Buddhist teachings and meditation and volunteered as a companion for patients on hospice. Jim lived many of his final days unable to appreciate the fullness of the life he had lived, a most unwelcome side-effect of his Parkinson's diagnosis. Thankfully, he was able to find calm and peace in the end. Jim will live forever in all that he touched. Jim was gentle and kind, loving and generous. He exemplified patience and compassion, and always brought out the best in those around him. He was successful but always humble, and always thought of everyone else first. He would never take from those he thought needed more than he did, and spoke often of the golden rule. His devotion to his patients was his driving force, and in the words of his colleagues Jim will be remembered in every patient they serve. A Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, August 16th in St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 15 St. Paul St., Brookline at 10:00 AM. Relatives and friends are kindly invited. Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday August 15th in the Bell-O'Dea Funeral Home, 376 Washington St., BROOKLINE from 4:00 – 7:00. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to CATCH Program c/o East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, 10 Gove St. East Boston, MA. 02128 (a program that cares for children with multiple disabilities and their families).
Published in The Boston Globe on Aug. 13, 2018
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