John William "Big John" Taylor

John "Big John" William Taylor

Johnston, formerly of Van Meter

John, 73, passed away Sunday, April 13, 2014 at the VA Medical Center in Des Moines. A private family service will held at a later date but all are invited to join the family for a BBQ party at the Van Meter American Legion on Friday, May 9 at 5 p.m.

John was a proud US Marine Corps Veteran who served three tours in Vietnam from 1961 to 1970 where he was a radio technician on the AFVN Radio Network. He received The Joint Service Commendation Medal signed by General Creighton Abrams for his outstanding professional knowledge in the field of electronics. This rare and distinguished medal was awarded to him for meritorious service in the performance of his duties during May 1969 to March 1970.

He was employed with the Milwaukee Railroad for 10 years and retired as a well respected finish carpenter, a job that he truly loved. John was also a member of the Van Meter American Legion Post 403.

John will be remembered as a loving father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend who will be greatly missed by all. He never met a stranger and his greatest joys in life were his family and friends. John was known for handing out gold coins and candy bars to everyone he met and will be remembered for his hat. He had a very special relationship with five of his great-grandchildren, Caleb, Estella, Zack, Adriana and Gage.

John is survived by his children, John Jr. (Lorna) Taylor, Bobbi Taylor, Deb (Mike) Kelly and Lori (Joe) Lipsett; nine grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; brother, Wayne Taylor; brother-in-law, Ken Krukow; sisters-in-law, Phyllis (Jack) Sheaffer of TX and Rhea (Tom) Joice of OK and by numerous nieces, nephews and extended family. He was preceded in death by his wife, Charlene Taylor; daughter, Lorri Taylor; long-term companion, Jane Morrow; a sister and two brothers.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Van Meter American Legion Post 403 or to VA Medical Center Voluntary Services.


Published in Des Moines Register on Apr. 15, 2014