Robert E. Taylor, 91, passed away Dec. 26, 2020, after a tough fight with COVID-19. His family is very grateful to the wonderful staff at the care center who cared for him lovingly.
Bob was a strong and loving person with a passion for the beauty of life, of nature and wildlife, the wilderness, sunrises and sunsets, music that moved his soul, caring for people and striving to live his faith as a servant of Jesus Christ. He was kind to everyone and would often strike up conversations with waitresses and show genuine interest in the lives of people around him in any situation. He valued the worth of all persons and demonstrated this in how he lived. He said "Always remember these three things, be kind, be kind, be kind."
Bob was born and raised in Canton, Mo. Bob attended and completed degrees at Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa (1949) and Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore. He completed a master's degree in community leadership at Central Michigan University. He was an appointee minister in the Community of Christ faith for over 40 years.
He was a creative person, an "idea man," a problem solver and forward thinking leader. He felt strongly about the importance of education and skill in church leadership and Christian education. He pursued this by developing several leadership camps and programs. He organized many youth outreach programs, caravans, camps and helped set up and nurture new congregations. He wrote government grants to fund outdoor educational experiences for disadvantaged youth. It would be fair to say that he had many mountain top experiences literally and spiritually. He said, "Everyone needs some wilderness in their life."
He was an Eagle Scout and participated in two national Boy Scout Jamborees. He represented Community of Christ in Ecumenical Ministries of Iowa and was elected president of this organization. He helped develop a local non-profit organization called Global Cedar Rapids to address national and international issues of peace and justice. This epitomized his philosophy of think globally and act locally.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents and all his siblings, Maida Seline, Velma Starr, Garold Taylor and Lois Braby. He was also preceded in death by his wife, Wanda (Fishel) Taylor, who died in 1993; and his oldest daughter, Paula Taylor, who died in 2014.
He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Betty (Snowden) Taylor; and her two sons, Reb Engle (Robin) and Harry Engle (Kathy) Engle and their families. He is survived by his three children, Tamara Taylor-Hillyer (Rich Hillyer), Wayne Taylor (Jenny) and Todd Taylor (Kim). He had five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
An online tribute is available at www.celebratelifeiowa.com. Please share your memories at this site where all will see them. There will be a slideshow of his life with some of his favorite music. Donations in his memory can be given to Community of Christ at www.CofChrist.org.
Bob was loved and respected by many and will be sorely missed by all. Surely he will have a glorious reunion in heaven with those who have passed and will hear the words "Well done good and faithful servant."