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OGDEN, Utah â€” Our father, Lawrence Eugene Taylor, started his last journey on June 26, 2011, in Ogden, Utah, at age 84. His life journey started on the Nez Perce Indian reservation in Lapwai, Idaho, on March 8, 1927.
He was an enrolled member in the Nez Perce tribe â€śNi Mii Puâ€ť, a heritage of which he was extremely proud. His grandmother, Tinikama, was born in a cave on the Idaho side of the Snake River in 1844. She traveled with Chief Joseph as he tried to outrun the Union Army trying to move them to the reservation. Because she never learned English, he had to learn the Nez Perce language to communicate with her. He learned Nez Perce history at her bedside. As a youngster he learned to fish and hunt which he loved to do throughout his adult life.
He attended schools on the reservation, taking a brief detour to serve in the United States Navy during the last years of World War II. During that time his duty took him all across the Pacific theater doing various jobs aboard ship and on the islands of the Pacific. He returned home after the war and returned to school, graduating in 1949.
He worked as an auto mechanic, a heavy equipment operator and farm equipment operator until 1951 when he received a post card from President Truman that said â€śGreetings and Salutations,â€ť calling him back into the Navy to serve during the Korean Conflict. He served as a cook aboard the troop transport ship General Anderson which transported troops from Japan to Korea to fight and returned the dead home for burial. He made 10 round trips to Japan during that time.
Once released from the Navy again, he returned to Northern Idaho to hunt, fish and work for various famers. Finding that farming was not for him, he joined the United States Air Force to begin yet another journey in his amazing life. He attended training in Illinois and Texas before being stationed in Louisiana where he met and married his wife of 52 years, Rachel.
In 1967 he was sent to Vietnam and was there for a year before returning to the United States where he was stationed at Mountain Home AFB in Idaho. He retired from the Air Force in July of 1973 with the rank of master sergeant. After retiring he relocated to Blackfoot where he was head of the hospital maintenance department. He went back to school and became a typewriter repairman and that new career took him to New Mexico and Nevada, finally returning to Idaho where he retired in the 1980â€™s.
Larry and Rachel raised four daughters and one son â€” Annie (Stephen) Allendorf, Florida; Brenda (Calvin) Kraus, Idaho; Michael (Terri) Taylor, Nevada; Vera Taylor, Idaho; and Sue (Arland) Pearce, Utah. He had 13 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren and he loved them all very much.
Larry and Rachel moved to Ogden, Utah, in 2001 due to declining health and to be closer to family. Rachel preceded him in death on June 24, 2005. He was devoted to our mother and to all of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a good friend and a gentle soul who never shied away from helping people. He was a proud member of his tribe, a warrior for his country and so much more than can be told in this space.
We love you Daddy and will miss you always.
Graveside services will be Friday, July 1, 2011, at 3 p.m. at Washington Heights Memorial Park, 4500 Washington Blvd.
Friends may meet family Friday, July 1, 2011. from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Leavittâ€™s Mortuary, 836 36th Street, Ogden.
Military honors will be accorded at the graveside.
In lieu of flowers please make a contribution to the National Parkinson Foundation Inc. 1501 N.W. 9th Ave/Bob Hope Drive, Miami, Fla. 33136-1494
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.leavittsmortuary.com.