Kenneth Wayne Taylor
October 1, 1947 – January 31, 2020
On Friday afternoon, January 31, 2020, Kenneth Wayne Taylor of Liberty, Oklahoma left this life here on earth to begin his eternity with the Lord. Kenneth was born on October 1, 1947 in Liberty as the youngest of 18 children and spent his entire life in this area of Southeastern Oklahoma he loved so much.
Kenneth graduated from Kemp High School in 1965 as the valedictorian of his class. After high school, he went on to attend Southeastern Oklahoma State University where he played basketball and graduated with a degree in physical education in 1969. On October 27, 1967, he married Bonnie Lorene Hair and began a family with her which eventually included three cherished daughters, Toni, Jill, and Terri. Immediately following graduation, Kenneth was drafted into the U.S. Army where he served in the Vietnam War. He was discharged in June of 1971 with a rank of E-5.
Kenneth Taylor’s heart for serving didn’t miss a beat as he began his career serving children in the public school system in August 1971, only two months after he returned from Vietnam. It was at this time that Kenneth became known to thousands of children over the years in Colbert, Oklahoma as Mr. Taylor. He spent that first year teaching, then became principal in 1972 and remained the principal of Eastward until he retired after 44 years of service. Upon his retirement, Mr. Taylor left a legacy that touched generations.
Simultaneously while changing lives in Colbert, Kenneth was farming hay and peanuts. He farmed for 52 long years and was quite a cattleman as well. He loved the music of Marty Robbins and among his favorite pastimes was watching his children, grandchildren, and students on the basketball court and ballfield. He was never known to turn down a game of dominoes, and could always be found each week in his pew at Kemp Baptist Church where he was an active member.
In his 72 years, Kenneth Taylor’s influence on others knew no limits, but the names he most cherished were Husband, Daddy, Pappy, Brother, Coach Taylor, and Mr. Taylor. His memory will live on in stories told by those in whose lives he made a difference in this community.
Kenneth is survived by his wife, Bonnie Taylor of Liberty, Oklahoma, daughters, Terri Taylor of Liberty, Oklahoma and Jill McDaris and husband, Michael McDaris, of Denison, Texas, grandchildren, Taylor Shipp and husband, Justin Shipp, of Kemp, Oklahoma, Cassidy and Paul McDaris of Denison, Texas, Colt Terrell of Liberty, Oklahoma, Jenna and Teryn Gowen of Colbert, Oklahoma, nephew, Shawn Hair of Liberty, Oklahoma, sisters, Marilyn Mitchell and husband, Jim Mitchell, of Denison, Texas, Lawanda Duckworth and husband, Bill Duckworth, of Cartwright, Oklahoma, Frances Rice of Odessa, Texas, brothers, William Taylor of Denison, TX and Donald Ray Taylor of Kerrville, TX, great-Grandchildren, Landry and Kenna Shipp of Kemp, Oklahoma, Emma and Raylan Taylor of Denison, Texas and Taylyn Brott of Tushka, Oklahoma.
Kenneth is preceded in death by his daughter, Toni Terrell, grandson, Jarid Taylor, dad, W.N. Taylor, mother, Mandy Renfro, step-father, Mick Renfro as well as six sisters and four brothers.
A church service will be held Monday, February 3, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at Kemp Baptist Church in Kemp, Oklahoma with Brother Roger Speers officiating. Burial will follow at Kemp Cemetery with a meal in the Fellowship Hall at noon. Pallbearers will be Teman Bowles, Shawn Hair, Jim Griswold, Colt Terrell, Michael McDaris, Paul McDaris, Justin Shipp, and Terry Terrell. Honorary Pallbearers will be Dennis Crawford, Donald Davidson, and Jim Mulder.
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