The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 26, 2012

Richard L. Taylor Jr.

Star Beacon

ERIE. Pa. — Richard L. “Rock” Taylor Jr., age 62, of Conneaut, Ohio, went to his “field of dreams” due to complications of pneumonia on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, at UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa., surrounded by family and friends.

Rocky was born Nov. 19, 1950, to Richard L. “Rock” Taylor Sr. and Mona Ward Taylor. His siblings are Marsha Taylor of Conneaut, Ray Taylor of Ashtabula, Clarissa Murtha of Monroe Township and Laura Taylor of Pittsburgh, Pa.

A 1970 graduate of Conneaut High School, Rock participated in football, wrestling and choir. He also received a diploma in computer technology from J.H. Thompson in Erie in 1986. He was active in scouts and Up With People.

After high school, he worked for Carl Puline and Sons carnival until he began his service in the U.S. Navy on the USS O’Hare, a destroyer in the Mediterranean campaign. He also served as Mail Carrier in Naples while in the U.S. Navy.

Rock retired reluctantly from The Pittsburgh & Conneaut Dock Company in 2003, after 32 years of service. He was also a utility firefighter on the Conneaut Fire Department. He learned repair skills while working with Bob Limbaugh at his appliance business, and also worked at Triad Salvage and Foseco as well.

He enjoyed hanging out at KSU with his wife and talking to history professor, Bart Nolan, and English professor, Roger Craik.

Richard enjoyed any sport (especially if there was a referee), was a rabid Browns fan and languished with all Indians’ fans every spring. He belonged to numerous fraternal organizations over the years and supported many animal charities, especially for cats.

Rocky was very involved in CLYO with Harry Church, coaching, managing and working the boards of the Saturday Night Bingo game. He also umpired Little League.  He was active in the Ashtabula YMCA and was honored as a volunteer with the United Way. Often ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, he also was recognized as an inspirational person by Goodwill Industries in 2003.

He wrote and received awards for several poems about the Navy, Viet Nam, and the current conflict, and the troubles of the young men returning from duty. He will be missed by many.

Richard married Meryl Smith Johnson in 1984, and enjoyed her “horse extravaganzas” editing her writing projects, going dancing at the Moose and the Eagles, going to (and winning) reverse raffles, as well as a good spat every five years or so.

He had three sons, Larry of Zanesville, Zachary of Conneaut and Nicholas of Conneaut. His three daughters are Laura Taylor Adams of Zanesville, Brittainy Johnson of Jefferson and Ashley Koivisto of Monroe Township. He also treasured his granddaughters, Melissa, Taylor, Elandra, Isabella and Chloe; and grandsons, Travis, Ryan, Gabrial and Owen, as well as the eight grandsons and daughter he never got to know in Zanesville.

He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, and his beloved cat “Mittens”.

Funeral Service will be at 10 a.m., Friday, Nov. 30th, at the MARCY FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATION CENTER, 208 Liberty St., Conneaut.

Calling Hours will be at the Funeral Home on Thursday, Nov. 29th, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be given to the Story Book Farm, the Animal Protective League for the cats, or to the family. Envelopes will be available at the Funeral Home.

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