WILLIAM EDWIN TAYLOR, JR., beloved son, brother, uncle and friend, quietly departed his earthly life at the Orlando Regional Medical Center on Wednesday, May 13, 2020.
William was born on February 9, 1959 to Jennie Lee Taylor (Ford) and William Edwin Taylor, Sr. As the first and only son, William was welcomed with joy by doting grandparents, Grace and Ernest Smith (Pop Pop) with whom his family resided. Pop Pop, a chef on the B&O Railroad, acquired Gretchen, a pedigree boxer from one of his acquaintances for his young grandson. The two quickly became friends and Gretchen would sometimes treat Will like one of her pups, nudging him indoors when they were called. A wooden red hobbyhorse soon appeared along with a tricycle.
When Will was three he learned that he would soon have a baby sibling and said that he wanted a “cherry” sister. Cheryl arrived home on Christmas Day and she was indeed his wished for “cherry sister.”
After Pop Pop died, his grandmother Grace remarried and Kelley Melcher, “Gramps,” came into 3-year old Will’s life. They became fast friends and Will often spent time with his grandparents. Until his death in 1993, Gramps was a father figure to and beloved by Will.
Will graduated from Edmondson High School and was encouraged by teachers to attend college. He chose instead to become a welder and worked for several years at Bethlehem Steel until he was injured on the job by falling debris. Will enjoyed being a DJ at clubs in Baltimore. In 1988 tragedy struck when Will’s fiancée Kim’s life was cut short by illness and death.
As a young adult Will accepted Christ and joined New Shiloh Baptist Church under the Rev. Harold Carter. William was known to read his Bible nightly and never hesitated to witness to his faith in God.
In 1990 Will married Pamela Jones. After two years of building a relationship over the phone, Will showed up unannounced at her job and said, “Hi, Pamela Jones.” When she asked who he was and how he knew her, he told her. Will went to work at the same dealership, and there Pam was the top salesperson in new cars and Will was tops in used cars. Pam said Will was “easy-going,” a good money manager and a “great person.” He had a special bond with her daughter Sidney Grace and years after the couple divorced Pam and Sidney traveled to Orlando and stayed with Will who took them to Disney World.
Will left car sales to work at Hechinger’s and later Home Depot. He took a transfer to work at one of their store in Gainesville, Florida. His mother Jennie and sister Cynthia helped William drive to Florida in a large moving truck. On the drive down to Florida, Will shouted “Waffle House” every time they passed one.
Will loved Florida and after a short time relocated to Orlando. His final job was in the flooring department at Lowe’s. He enjoyed serving his customers and went the extra mile to meet their needs. Last year for Mother’s Day, Will surprised the moms he worked with by purchasing pastries for them.
In 2001, William purchased his own home. William enjoyed his mother’s twice yearly-extended visits to Orlando where she had a permanent bedroom. She alternated spending Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays with her son and the family in Baltimore. Mother and son had a close, loving relationship filled with laughter and joy.
Will enjoyed fishing. He also bowled in leagues in Baltimore and continued to bowl in a league on Wednesdays in Florida with friends Robert, Matt and Champ. A huge sports fan, Will loved talking about the Baltimore Ravens. He was fascinated by the beautiful Orlando clouds and loved to lie on his back and take dozens of pictures as he watched them.
Whenever Will came to Baltimore, his mother prepared his favorite meal of hog maws and chitterlings with potato salad. After her death, on visits to Baltimore he would make his way to Lexington Market to get his favorite dish and crab cakes. Will loved to cook and loved good food.
He also loved music, especially rap, and kept up with young up and coming artists. He liked to ride his bike around his neighborhood, and he loved watching movies with some of his favorites being “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” and “Get Out.” His latest passion was building his gun collection and weekly visits to the shooting range with his friends Luis and Champ.
In February 2019, Will came to Baltimore to celebrate his 60th birthday with his family – sisters Cheryl and Cynthia, nephew Steven, great nephew Niko and great niece Chloe. He was glad he was able to meet Cheryl’s husband Karlin on this trip. In June 2019, Will, Cheryl and Cynthia went to Las Vegas on their first “sibling vacation.”
A godfather to his nephew Steven and niece Stephanie, Will was very close to them both. He and Steven frequently spoke with and texted each other. In his last text with his nephew Steven about possible future stimulus money and repayments, Will replied, “I’ll be in Heaven. I ain’t paying that back.”
William is survived by his sisters Cathleen Taylor Dudley, Cynthia Ann Taylor, and Cheryl Taylor Anderson (Karlin); nieces Amy Lynn Taylor (Raynor), Celeste Anne Taylor, Lia Taylor Kekovic, Stephanie Taylor Leach; nephews Jay Taylor Dudley, Steven Martinaze Leach, Jr.; great niece Chloe Leigh Kekovic; great nephews Jordan Raynor Taylor, Nikolas Alexander Kekovic; cousins; and many loving and caring friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorial donations in memory of William to “Loaves and Fishes.” Please visit https://www.eservicepayments.com/55255.htm or mail your check to Mount Olive United Methodist Church, 5115 Old Court Rd, Randallstown, MD 21133 with “Loaves and Fishes” on the memo line.
William ended every call and text to his family with the words, “Love you.” We love you, Will.
The family would like to thank the staff at Orlando Regional Medical Center for their care of Will and their kind and thoughtful communications with us during this difficult time. We also appreciate the Cornerstone Hospice where Will spent his final hours. Thanks to Pamela Williams for arranging our accommodations in Orlando. Thanks to Will’s many friends who reached out to us with offers of help and wonderful statements of their friendship with Will and to our family and friends for their kind expressions of love, comfort and support. We are so thankful for his friend Champ who requested a police wellness check after not hearing from Will. Lastly, we thank Desiree, an employee at Publix where Will was stricken, for her swift action in calling 911 and getting assistance to Will.