William James "Bill" Taylor
William James "Bill" Taylor, 96, of Palo, passed away on May 13, 2019, at The Gardens of Cedar Rapids. Arrangements are being handled by Teahen Funeral Home of Cedar Rapids. Per Bill's request, no public funeral will be held. A
service will be held at the burial site in Palo at a later date.
Bill is survived by his three children, sons, Greg (Fonda) of West Des Moines and Joe (Sandy) of Cedar Rapids, and daughter Lori of Midway. He is also survived by one sister, Shirley Langton; three granddaughters, Beth (Rob) Chapman, Shanna (Bob) Mosey and Kara Taylor; and four great-grandchildren, Tommy and Taylor Chapman and Noah and Daniel Mosey.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Letha, in 2007. He was also preceded in death by his sisters, Hermandine Jenkins and Mary Ann Dvorak.
Bill was born Oct. 2, 1922, in Milan, Mo. The family moved to Union, Iowa, in his early childhood. He spent his middle childhood years in Marengo, Iowa, and his high school years in Palo, Iowa, graduating from Palo High School in 1941. The day after graduating, he enlisted in the U.S. Army after training in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) while in high school. He served in active duty from the beginning of American involvement in World War II through the end of the war. Most of the war years were served in an anti-tank battalion under General Patton's U.S. Seventh Army in Africa and the U.S. Third Army in England, France and Germany following the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944. He also served in General Patton's European headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany, after the German surrender and was serving as a training officer in South Korea when he received his honorable discharge as a Captain in 1948. He continued to serve in the U.S. Army Reserves until 1956. Having married Letha in 1943 near Camp Hood, Texas, while in the States for training, they had only spent five months together over a five-year period until his discharge from active duty.
Upon his return to civilian life, they settled in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where they started a family. He worked in various positions as a truck mechanic, over-the-road driver and manufacturing welder before starting his own independent truck business in the early 1950s. He owned and operated Taylor Trucking for more than 35 years. Bill was a gifted mechanic and could completely rebuild any engine, transmission or any other component of any truck or car. In 1952, the family settled on a one-acre rural lot with a house and a garage between Cedar Rapids and Marion. The location provided the space he needed for parking and servicing the trucks. The property was on a gravel road that would become Collins Road across the street from a new shopping center that opened in 1961, Lindale Plaza (later Mall). One of our favorite family activities has been describing that property on Collins Road where we lived for 30-plus years and its seven different addresses over that period as development in the area surrounded the home. Twixt Town Drive-in Theatre was our "next-door neighbor" behind the property for the majority of those years and the property was ultimately sold, along with Twixt Town, as the site for the development of Collins Road Square. Bill & Letha resettled to their high school hometown of Palo, where they built a new home in their 60s, doing most of the construction themselves. During retirement, they spent most winters in various Florida locations and Brownsville, Texas. Bill spent much of his retirement working on cars, tinkering and fixing anything he could find, including things that didn't need fixed! With help from family, he recovered from the Flood of 2008 and remained in his home in Palo until age 95, when Alzheimer's brought a move to Emery Place in 2018 and a hospitalization led to relocation to The Gardens of Cedar Rapids in March of this year.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Emery Place, The Gardens of Cedar Rapids and UnityPoint Hospice for their care and comfort given to Bill over the last year.
Online condolences can be left at www.teahenfuneralhome.com.