Eddie Taylor, Sr.
Melbourne - Eddie Lee Taylor passed away on Sunday, October 4, 2020, at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne. Eddie was born on April 28, 1939, in northern Palm Bay. Eddie graduated from Stone School in 1958; after which, he attended Florida Memorial College in St. Augustine, FL., and earned a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. Eddie was then employed by the Brevard County School Board, and taught at Stone School. A few years later he moved his family to Washington D.C. where he taught in the Washington D.C. Public Schools.
Soon, Eddie and his family returned to Melbourne, and he continued his teaching career when he was chosen to integrate Roy Allen Elementary School. Eddie continued his education, and received his Master's Degree in School Administration from the University of Central Florida. In the 1970's, under the guidance of the Brevard County School Board, Mr. Taylor was assigned the role of Assistant Principal at Stone Middle School, and charged with the assignment of opening of a new program for adults with special focus on the South Melbourne area. While serving in this capacity, Eddie, along with his staff, were instrumental in providing opportunities for many adults of all cultures to obtain their high school diplomas and thus improve their lives. Later, the Adult Education Program was moved to Palm Bay High School where Eddie served as Assistant Principal for Adult Education until his retirement.
Mr. Taylor's character and influence were factors that influenced the Melbourne Jaycees of the 1970's to recruit him as the first African-American member of the organization. While working with the Jaycees, the late Mr. Norm Keller, in March, 1972, invited Eddie to create a Radio Program focusing on the African American community to be aired on Radio Station WMMB/WYRL. Later, that program evolved into the Eddie Taylor Gospel Sing which aired each Sunday morning for almost 20 years.
Eddie's public service continued most of his life, and two of Florida's governors, Governor Bob Martinez and Governor Lawton Chiles appointed him as a commissioner to the Housing Authority of Brevard County, where he served tirelessly for eight years to provide decent and affordable housing for underprivileged citizens.
Also, as a former member of the Board of Directors for East Central Florida Junior Achievement Program, his work influenced the lives of many high school students in exposing them to mentors, as well as the world of business. In addition, Mr. Taylor formerly served as a member of the Holmes Regional Development Council where he served as liaison between the community and the Council.
Most of all, the South Melbourne community held a special place in Eddie's heart. He worked tirelessly as President of the Lipscomb Park Association where he served for more than 25 years, and was a constant fixture at City Hall lobbying the Mayor and Council for allocated funds to improve the park, which would benefit the lives of young people in the area. Eddie also ran twice for the Melbourne City Council.
The Women's Center of Melbourne, The Caribbean Festival Committee of the Episcopal Church of Our Savior, and, Mount Moriah Baptist Church where he was a life-long member, and Chair of the Trustee Board are just few of the many institutions that he felt the call to serve, are a testament to Mr. Taylor's selfless personality. Mr. Taylor envisioned his service to humanity as doing God's work on earth, with the hope of leaving the world somewhat better than the world into which he was born.
However, Mr. Eddie Lee Taylor's greatest legacy is the immeasurable love that he had for his children, grandchildren, and other family members, as well as, all people. He never met a stranger. Packaging and distributing candy to children at Halloween; playing Santa Claus for the neighborhood kids in South Melbourne were some of his most enjoyable delights. Eddie was a mentor to the late Charles Doyle. Dad, we love you; you will live forever in our hearts.
He leaves to mourn his loss: Sons: Eddie, Jr. (Felecia) and Reginald, Sr. (Felicia); Daughters: Bridgette Scott (James) and Brenda Taylor; Grandchildren: Christina, Mia, Sierra, Reginald Jr., Nikolai, Spencer, Bryant, Robin, Nicole and Deon; a number of Great-Grandchildren; Sister-in-Law: Maxie Taylor; a dearly beloved sweetheart: Judith Doyle, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends in the United States, England, and Canada.
The viewing for Mr. Eddie Taylor is open to the public on Friday, October 9th from 5:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M. Masks and social distancing are mandatory. The funeral service will be held on Saturday, October 10th at 3:00 P.M. at Buggs Funeral Home, 2701 S. Harbor City Blvd., Melbourne. Due to the pandemic, the funeral service is limited to family only and will be live streamed at https://webcast.funeralvue.com/events/viewer/38262
Buggs Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Published by FloridaToday from Oct. 7 to Oct. 9, 2020.