A. Jeffry Taylor, known to all as "Jeff," died on June 1, 2014 in Rutland Hospital from complications following surgery, surrounded by his family and the Green Mountains that he loved passionately as a transplanted Southern Californian-turned-Vermonter.
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Jeff was a progressive activist, an attorney, a practical joker, a voracious reader, and an enthusiastic Unitarian Universalist. He took tremendous joy in the smallest of things, loved to make people laugh and was grateful for every day. He was patient, kind, generous and possessed of the most extraordinary enthusiasm for learning, teaching, eating, laughing and fighting for the rights and liberties of others.
Blessed with a near photographic memory, he was a human search engine with answers to all his friends' and family's questions, none too great or small.
He had boundless curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, with particular interest in science, history, religion and politics. He conducted endless experiments into the possible applications of maple syrup to food and drink, most notably his frozen Maple Margarita.
He was a loving husband and father who imparted deep family and community values to his children, and was held in great respect by family, friends and colleagues.
Born and raised in Los Angeles in a large extended family of Mexican-American and Sicilian-American aunts, uncles, and cousins, he attended UCLA, where he met his wife Kate Hanrahan Taylor. As he and Kate started their family, she earned a Masters Degree from UCLA in History and he graduated from Loyola Law School.
At the beginning of his career, he worked as a clerk for Federal Appellate Court Judge William Byrne and then served in the Department of Justice as a staff attorney in the Anti-Trust Division.
In 1972, he and Kate moved to Vermont with their children, first living in Rutland and later in Clarendon. Jeff worked as a staff attorney for Central Vermont Public Service for several years before going into private practice.
He was an active member of the Rutland Unitarian Church, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and participated in numerous progressive political causes as well as the long-running Wallingford Book Club. He worked as counsel for the Vermont Democratic Committee, chairman of the Clarendon Democratic Committee, and twice served as a member of the Electoral College.
He also attended several Democratic National Conventions as a member of the Vermont Delegation. In 2006, he was a recipient of the prestigious Curtis Award from the state Democratic Party.
Jeff taught as an adjunct professor at the Vermont Law School and worked as an investigator for the Professional Conduct Board.
Jeff was a member of both the California and the Vermont Bar Associations and an avid writer of letters to the editor and opinion pieces in the Rutland Herald and other publications.
Jeff never tired of sharing his wonder at the natural beauty of the Green Mountains - in every season, including mud - and worked on numerous conservation projects.
Among his efforts to preserve Vermont's natural heritage, Jeff provided key support to the Vermont River Conservancy's work to preserve the Lower Clarendon Gorge, and he initiated the creation of the Clarendon Town Forest.
He is survived by his wife, Kate; his daughter Jennifer Taylor of San Francisco, CA; daughter Stefanie Taylor of Wallingford, VT; son Bryce Taylor of Brooklyn, NY; and son Zachary Taylor of Stowe, VT. Survivors also include 10 grandchildren, his sister, and cousins throughout the United States and Mexico.
Friends and colleagues are invited to an open house at the Taylor home in Clarendon from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 15. Reminiscences and RSVPs can be sent to Jennifer@SpecificPictures.com">Jennifer@SpecificPictures.com">Jennifer@SpecificPictures.com">Jennifer@SpecificPictures.com.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Gilbert Hart Library in Wallingford or the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rutland.
Published in Rutland Herald on June 6, 2014