Donald “Don” Paul Taylor passed peacefully at his home in Port Orange, Florida on Sunday, November 12, 2017 at the age of 74 surrounded by his family.
He is survived by his wife, Jane Taylor, his children, David Taylor, Cindy Taylor, Kristina Macias, and his grandchildren, Jack Taylor, Katelyn Harris, Elizabeth Harris and Logan King.
He is proceeded in death by his parents Thelma Davis Taylor McKeag and Ellis Paul Taylor.
Don was born July 24, 1943 in Baltimore Maryland and was raised in Virginia. He graduated Fork Union Military Academy in 1962 and worked briefly as a meat cutter and in steel erection before finding his true professional calling when he joined the City of Fairfax Police Department in April of 1969.
Don loved being a police officer and police work. He was named Police Officer of the Year in 1971 in part for evacuating a family from an apartment fire earlier that year. He rose steadily through the ranks of the department until he retired on May 1, 1999 as Deputy Chief.
Don’s career in policing was as big and diverse as his life. Don’s career record is filled with too many commendations and letters of appreciation to list. He was a successful Undercover Narcotics officer in 1975, bringing multiple cases against 26 individuals and gang members for felony distribution of narcotics.
Don served as the primary entry man, anti-sniper and team leader for the City of Fairfax Police Emergency Services Team, a special weapons and tactics team.
Captain Don Taylor and the City of Fairfax Police Department were on the forefront of DUI enforcement, bringing the first ever DUI check points to Virginia in 1982, proving the concept through the courts and building public awareness that drinking and driving was a dangerous crime.
In 1985 Don graduated from the 143rd session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy, one of Don’s proudest career achievements.
Don’s passion for police work was matched by his passion for life. You didn’t need to spend much time with Don, before you would hear at least one his two favorite sayings: “Life is not a dress rehearsal” and “If you’re not living on the edge you are taking up too much room”. Don enjoyed a variety of activities including working out, golf, hunting and fishing, but his passion for riding motorcycles may have been his greatest.
Don got his first motorcycle in 1963 at the age of 20 and never looked back. During his riding life he owned many different types of bikes including a chopper he built from old police bike complete with a suicide clutch, jockey shifter and no front brake. He eventually settled on riding touring motorcycles, and made several cross country rides, rides into Canada and all up and down the east coast. In 1995, on a ride in upstate New York, he was struck by a truck and in addition to sustaining multiple devastating injuries, he lost his left leg below the knee. But Don was Don, and as soon as he was fitted with a prosthetic leg he bought his next Harley Davidson motorcycle and went on to ride another 21 years and log another 200,000 miles.
Don was dedicated to his family and especially his loving wife of 53 years, Jane. He worked hard to provide the best life that he could for his family. Family vacations to the beach were an annual tradition, as were fishing and hunting outings. Sunday football, and especially his watching his beloved Washington Redskins, was something he never missed. His sense of humor was unmatched and he could fill a room with his love for life, family, friends and fun.
A Celebration Of Life is scheduled for Wednesday, November 15, 2017 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at The Tavern at the Golf Club of Cypress Head, Port Orange, Florida. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Don’s life. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your favorite Veteran or Police charity.
6231 Palm Vista Street, Port Orange, FL 32128