Obituary by another friend

by Otony, Saturday, January 09, 2021, 21:35 (55 days ago)
edited by Otony, Saturday, January 09, 2021, 21:42

Rest in Peace
Worshipful Brother Gerald Wayne Taylor, (Master Sergeant, U.S. Army, Retired) b. 26 Feb 1948 / d. 08 Jan 2021

Brethren and Friends All,

The roll has been called in the Celestial Lodge and another Worshipful Brother has answered the Eternal Call. Gerald Wayne Taylor, 72, was a Past Master of Blue Mountain Lodge No. 13 in Walla Walla. He was a 32nd Degree Master of the Royal Secret in the Scottish Rite Valley of Walla Walla, Orient of Washington. He was a Noble and Past President of the Blue Mountain Shrine Club in Walla Walla, a part of the El Katif Temple of the Shrine.

His Masonic travels were:
* Regularly initiated as an Entered Apprentice Mason on 03 Nov 2008;
* Passed to the degree of a Fellowcraft Mason on 19 Jan 2009;
* Raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason on 02 Mar 2009, and made his proficiency on 06 Apr 2009.

WB Taylor is survived by his widow, Garri Ann Taylor, their children and grandchildren.

He was a retired Soldier and a highly decorated U.S. Army Infantry Master Sergeant. He was a parachutist with the legendary 101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles); drill sergeant at Fort Jackson, South Carolina; instructor with the Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Georgia; and a combat force training instructor at Fort Irwin, California.

WB Taylor received several awards of the Purple Heart Medal for wounds sustained in combat during his tours in Vietnam. He also served overseas tours of duty in Germany, Korea and Panama. His other decorations, not necessarily in order of precedence, include the combat infantry badge, parachutist badge (with star for a combat jump), air assault badge, and the U.S. Army drill sergeant badge. Among his highest awards were the Presidential Unit Citation, Bronze Star for Valor in Combat, Meritorious Service Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry (with palm), Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Medal, Valorous Unit Award, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

Following his distinguished military career, WB Taylor was selected to be the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps enlisted instructor and rifle marksmanship team coach at Walla Walla High School. Through his teaching career, he inspired and mentored nearly 2,000 cadets. As coach, he trained highly-skilled precision and sporter rifle teams that earned countless awards. One of his cadets captured top national honors in 2007. Universally respected as teacher and coach, he also helped many students find their way to college and university scholarships, service academy appointments and service in the several military branches.

Teaching and training were a longtime commitment, evidenced by his 20 years as a certified volunteer hunter education instructor for the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. He was also one of the coaching team for the youth shotgun club at the Walla Walla Gun Club. He was also a charter board member for the WWHS JROTC Booster Club. If these many efforts and undertakings weren't enough, WB Taylor was renowned for loading his ubiquitous white Ford pickup truck with toolboxes and building materials and helping people with projects large and small to repair or improve their homes and properties. He would decline any compensation for his efforts and labors, but was sometimes heard to say "but maybe I'd take a cup of coffee, if you've got one." When asked "why do you do this?" Taylor would simply reply "well, we're buddies, and I just enjoy staying busy."

Rest now, Brother, Friend and Soldier... Dismissed, fall out. Godspeed. Amen, so mote it be.

In friendship and Fraternity... Dutch Meier

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