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Russell Parker Taft

1926 - 2018 Notice Condolences
Russell Parker Taft Notice
April 8, 1926 - Jan. 21, 2018 Parker, as he was known, was born in San Francisco in 1926, and came to Vallejo in 1939 with his mother and father, Carol Parker Taft and Russell L. Taft. He graduated from Vallejo High Class of 1944. After two years in the Army Air Force and Infantry (33rd Inf. Div.) where he served in the Philippines and Japan Occupational Force, he returned to Vallejo and Vallejo Jr. College (Class of '48). He then attended and graduated from Cal Berkeley (class of '50) and U.C. Hasting College of Law (class of '53). While in law school, he met and married his lifelong sweetheart, Bettycille Taft with whom he was married until she passed in March of 2017. Returning to Vallejo, once again, he was associated with his dad, Russell L. Taft of the law firm Taft, Wright & Hopkins. In 1961 he started his own law practice with his brother Franklin R. Taft, and continued to practice law until finally retiring at age 86. Parker was an avid and expert skier starting at 16 years of age, when he was in the Boy Scouts of America and skied until he was over 85 years old. He also continued his involvement with Boy Scouts, particularly Troop 12 for many years after he attained Life Scout, serving on the troop board, and as scoutmaster. A few of his many achievements: He was a 32nd degree Mason in the Naval Lodge #87 in Vallejo and one of the founders and Secretary of the Springbrook Memorial Foundation. He received the Hiram award from the Naval Lodge in 2010. Parker was also a Director of Solano County Bar Association, Legal Aid for many years. A member of Vallejo Elk's Club, (BPOE), the American Bar Association as was his father, Russell L. and his grandfather Frank W. Taft. He was a founding partner and board member of Grand Cru Vineyards, in Glen Ellen, and he incorporated the Sonoma County Vintners Association. He was active in the Vallejo 20-30 Club, Past Lt. Gov. of Kiwanis, Division 8, Founder and Charter member of Vallejo Suburban Kiwanis Club. He received Kiwanis' Hixson Fellowship Award in 1997. At one time or another he was on the Board of Directors of: Sem Yeta council of Campfire, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Crime Stoppers, Mare Island Historical Foundation, Silverado Concourse d'Elegance, Vallejo Yacht club, Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum, and Sponsor of Lilac Branch of Oakland Children's Hospital, and Operation Lifesafer. He is survived by his brother The Honorable Franklin R. Taft (Gloria); cousin, Virginia Taft Meeks; and his three children, Robert R. (Gale) Taft of Napa, Russell N. (Val) Taft of Orinda, Leslie Jean Diederich of Colfax, and four grandchildren, Drew, Forrest, James, and Camryn of whom he was very proud. He often shared his knowledge of the law with many young lawyers, and was proud to help them start their new careers, and build longstanding friendships. His family and friends enjoyed his humor, intellect, friendly countenance, curiosity, generosity, honor and sense of justice. His celebration of life is scheduled at the Springbrook Masonic Lodge, at 1 p.m., on April 8, his 92nd birthday. It will be a "Gala Affair". All are welcome to celebrate with us!! A burial for family and a few close friends will be on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 3 p.m., at Tulocay Cemetery in Napa. Please call or text Robert Taft at 707 235-2761 if you would like to attend.
Published in TimesHeraldOnline from Feb. 4 to Apr. 8, 2018
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