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Francis "Butch" Taylor

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Francis "Butch" Taylor Obituary
Francis M. "Butch" Taylor

On March 5, 2013 at the age of 103, Francis "Butch" Taylor departed life peacefully with loved ones at his bedside.

Born in Akron, Iowa on September 7, 1909, Butch was raised from an early age by his widowed mother, living in southern California, Seattle, the Tulare County community of Badger, Santa Cruz, and Lincoln. In 1936 he was awarded the master's degree in social welfare from the University of California at Berkeley. It was there that he met his future wife, "the most beautiful girl in the room," Elizabeth - "Betty Lou," whom he married April 20, 1940. He is survived by his wife Betty Lou, daughter Patricia A. Taylor (Redwood City), son Michael T. Taylor (Inverness & LA), and grandson Mark C. Misaghi (Santa Monica), and was preceded in death tragically by his daughter, Carol Louise.

Butch and Betty Lou settled on family property that later became Edgewood County Park-an ideal spot to raise their children along with a menagerie of goats, cows, horses, chickens, cats, dogs, and a prolific vegetable garden. In 1969 the family moved to Palomar Park, west of Redwood City, where his passion for gardening continued to provide fresh vegetables for family, friends, neighbors, and the local food bank.

Butch's social work career was a fascinating journey, from the California State Relief Administration and the Alameda County Charities Commission to the American Red Cross, as Assistant Field Director at the Presidio. In 1943 Butch was sent to China, India, and Burma, where as ARC Field Director he provided aid and comfort to our servicemen abroad for two rewarding years. Upon his return Butch became Information Consultant at the Community Chest-today's United Way. He rejoined to the American Red Cross in 1947 as Manager of the San Mateo County Chapter in Burlingame, where he remained until retiring in 1974.

In retirement, Butch continued a life of service, first as Associate Director of the Alcoholism Council of California, and later representing AARP in promoting the importance of retirement planning to Silicon Valley companies such as Intel and Hewlett Packard. FEMA then called upon Butch's disaster relief management experience to lead damage assessment teams and establish local relief centers for victims at disaster sites in Guam, Samoa, the Marshall Islands, Florida, Alabama, Texas, and the Navajo and Hopi reservations in Arizona.

Active in the Burlingame Rotary Club since 1952, Butch served as Secretary and President, was a "repeat" Paul Harris Fellow, and played a key role in opening club membership to women. He was a longtime member of the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Redwood City, where he advocated vocally for social justice, secured congregational support for an international ban on landmines, and worked toward eradication of hunger.

Butch truly was his "brother's keeper," continually reaching out to the less fortunate. He and his wife, Betty Lou, opened their home to foster children, foreign college students, and others needing a helping hand. They enjoyed cultural exchange and enlightenment by hosting travelers from abroad as well as through their own travels.

Francis "Butch" Taylor devoted his life to service at home and abroad, offering help, comfort, and hope to those in need, and extending support to the less advantaged to ease their burdens in life. In lieu of flowers, Butch's wish would be for anyone wishing to honor his life to reach out as he did, to anyone needing a helping hand.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Mar. 7, 2013
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