Melvin (Mel)'s Story
It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Mel Taylor. Beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and educator, Mel passed away at the age of 83 on Saturday, January 14, 2017 in Athens, Texas following a courageous battle with Parkinson's disease.
Born in 1933 to loving parents Ottis and Verde Taylor in Bartlett, Texas, Mel was raised and educated in the Hill Country. A graduate of San Marcos High School he continued his education in San Marcos obtaining both a Bachelors of Science Degree and a Masters Degree in Industrial Technology from Southwest Texas State University.
Mel began his fifty-two year career as an educator in 1955 in Fort Worth teaching junior high school and continued teaching public school in Harlingen. Mel then began his college teaching career at Pan American University in Edinburg. He taught with grace and and a devotion to his students which was beyond compare. In 1968, Mel brought this devotion to education to Sam Houston State University when he joined the faculty of the Industrial Technology Department. For the next forty years, Professor Taylor taught countless burgeoning engineers and craftsmen, always with the quiet confidence and patience he was known for, until his retirement in 1999. Following retirement, Mel continued to teach part-time for several years.
An active member of First Presbyterian Church, Mel served God and his church as both an elder and a deacon for many years. Always eager to help his fellow man and his community, Mel was a long-time member of the Huntsville Kiwanis Club, where he had served as both a board member and president.
Throughout his life, Mel was an inspiration and role model to family, friends, and students. He inspired through a quiet, gentle demeanor backed by a faith as strong as the metal he worked with throughout his career.
Mel will be greatly missed by his surviving family: the love of his life, best friend and wife for fifty-four years, Diane; daughter Cindy Babcock and husband Ronnie of Athens; grandson Owen Babcock of Dallas; son Thomas Taylor and partner Richard Hernandez of Houston; sisters Rosie Fleming, Amy Taylor, and Darlene Smith and husband Lyndon; brother Don Taylor and wife Mildred, as well as a loving extended family.
The family is grateful for the many kindnesses and blessings Mel received in his difficult final months especially from the generous and gentle caregivers at Oakwood Place, South Place, and Genesis Hospice in Athens, Texas.
A Memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, January 22, 2017 at First Presbyterian Church in Huntsville, Texas. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in his memory to the Huntsville Kiwanis Key Club Scholarship Fund or First Presbyterian Church, Huntsville, Texas.
Published on January 19, 2017