KILMARNOCK—Lawrence M. Taylor, 92, died Wednesday, March 8, 2018, at Commonwealth Assisted Living in Kilmarnock.
He was born in Bethlehem, Pa., and grew up in Bethesda, Md., with his brother, Richard. His father, James H. Taylor, was head of the mathematics department at George Washington University, and his mother, Ethel, operated Centro Hobby Shop in Bethesda. He spent many carefree, happy summers at “Pine Lodge” the cottage built by his father, in Long Beach, Md., swimming and hunting sharks teeth and fossils.
In 1943, at age 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and served on the Destroyer, Mullany (DD 528). In April, 1945, at Okinawa, they were attacked by several Japanese planes, one of which hit the ship. Despite heavy damage, she did not sink, was reboarded and made it back to San Francisco for repairs. He was discharged in 1946 and went to work repairing surveying instruments in Boston, Mass.
In 1953, in his new red and cream colored MG Automobile, he went out west, the first of many trips, camping and exploring. On the Greenbelt, Md., rifle range, he met his future wife, Betty, and proudly told his parents “Look what I found on the range!”
After retiring from IBM in 1982, he became an expert clockmaker. This interest was sparked by a mantel clock that had been a wedding gift to his great grandparents. He operated his business “Lawrence Cove Clocks” for many years from his retirement home in Ditchley.
The home was a product of his hard work and talent—he took electrical classes to learn how to wire the house, did the plumbing and siding, and later, built a Williamsburg-style outbuilding and Dovecote.
He built clocks from scratch, in several cases using mahogany from a desk owned by his father for the cases.
He was a meticulous craftsman, who could build or repair anything, from a broken Barbie doll leg, to tearing apart the MG, rebuilding the engine, painting, pinstriping and doing the upholstery work.
He was a longtime member of the Rappahannock Pistol and Rifle Club, tirelessly working to improve the range and promote the club. He also was a certified NRA instructor, a charter member of the Memory Lane Car Club and the SAR, Richard Henry Lee Chapter. He and Betty also spent many hours working on behalf of the Rappahannock Art League and many, many other local organizations.
After too many tornados and hurricanes, he and Betty sold the Ditchley house and moved into town. There they spent another happy period of their lives, until advancing age forced them to move into assisted living.
He always tried to keep a positive attitude and never complained, was a true gentleman and friend, an American patriot and an extraordinary craftsman.
He leaves behind his two daughters and their husbands, Barbara Horst and Clarence of Jefferson, Md., and Janice Parrish and Michael of Boonsboro, Md., three grandchildren, Laura King and husband, Jake, of Ellsworth, Maine, Taylor Parrish and Hunter Parrish, of Boonsboro, Md, and five great-grandchildren, Brayden King, Preston King and Annabelle King, and Abigail and Amelia Carter.
There will be no funeral, as he and Betty donated their bodies to Medical Science. Donations may be made to Riverside Walter Reed Hospice, 7358 Main Street, Gloucester, VA 23061.