John Taylor

John Robert Taylor
July 22,1933-Nov.11, 2012
Resident of Santa Cruz
John was born July 22, 1933 at St. Paul, Minnesota, the only child of Ralph and Pauline Taylor. He died November 11, 2012, at his home in Santa Cruz, California. He was raised on the shores of Lake Phalen in St. Paul, Minnesota. He attended parochial schools through twelfth grade including Cretin High School, at that time a Catholic, military, boy's school known for rigorous discipline and academic standards. He formed many lifetime friendships during those years some of them lasting from kindergarten until his death. His lakeside gang was, and is, known as the Phalen Pranksters.
John was a brilliant young man, did exceptionally well on his college entrance exams, and entered the University of Minnesota in 1951 planning to study chemistry. Within a couple of years it became apparent that John's interests were more of a practical nature. He left school and took a position as a machinist in the research laboratories of 3M Company. He worked there until his retirement in the early eighties.
Following retirement John moved to Santa Cruz, California where he ran a Laundromat for a few years and learned to love the beach. He continued his interest in mechanical things and always had a well-equipped machine shop. He made a scale locomotive for a children's amusement park and built a steam powered bicycle. The bicycle was not a commercial venture, but certainly attracted attention when ridden around the neighborhood. He was an avid reader enjoying anything related to science, mechanics, computers, mechanical engineering, and fast cars.
A common reaction to any new tool, gadget, or appliance was to take it apart to see how it worked. Having him visit your home could be hazardous. He might take your new microwave apart to see how it worked, but he would reassemble it and the devices always worked afterward.
In later life John took pleasure in his monthly lunches with his Mensa group, an association of people with near genius intelligence. He treasured reunions with his old lake gang, a few close friends in Santa Cruz, and his "pet" gull at the beach.
He is survived by several cousins and many caring friends.
For more information please contact Pacific Gardens Chapel (831) 423-5721.


Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Dec. 2, 2012