Donald E. Taylor

Donald E. Taylor did not lose his battle to cancer on June 1st, 2024.

Donald E. Taylor did not lose his battle to cancer on June 1st, 2024. Rather, he left this earth after 93 years and one Hell of a good run.

Before he passed Don reflected on his love and appreciation for his four daughters, his joy of having spent 68 years married to Louise, his gratitude in having so many opportunities to “see the world,” and for the many people he had the pleasure of sharing his life with. He hoped to be remembered as hardworking, kind and honest. As he neared the end of his life, he wanted us to know that even though he was not a church going man, he considered himself a Christian and a Believer. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, as behind his sometimes-gruff exterior, he was kindhearted with a gentle spirit. (Not to mention he was especially fond of calling out to God daily).

Born September 12, 1930, at the old St. Peter’s Hospital in Olympia, Don’s early years were spent in the Tumwater/Littlerock area. His grandparents’ homestead was in what is now the Environmental Learning Center at Millersylvania State Park. In 1943 his family moved to the Willapa Harbor/South Bend area of Pacific County where he finished junior high and graduated from South Bend High School where he made several lifelong friends while playing football. He always said he wasn’t fast but he loved to tackle. His teenage summers were spent picking oysters on Willapa Bay. He went to one year of college, post high school, but the outdoors and desire to start making a living called him to the woods, where he worked as a logger.

On his 23rd birthday he married Louise Marie Rose. They moved to a farm in Pacific County where they had three of their four daughters. Louise was raised on Rose Ranch in Bay Center and came to the marriage knowing how to herd cattle, drive a tractor, garden, can, sew and much more — Don knew a keeper when he saw one! In 1965 Don went to work for the State of Washington Department of Revenue. That job took the family of five to Spokane, Washington for one year, and then to Olympia, Washington where Don transferred to the Department of Highways Right of Way Division. It was in Olympia where they added a fourth daughter to the family and lived out their years.

In 1977, after significant additional education and training Don completed his MAI, left his job at the State of Washington and became a self-employed MAI Appraiser and real estate investor. Don was a smart businessperson with a good head on his shoulders. Throughout his life he had a passion for land and real estate including working in the woods, appraising, buying and selling and even developing. He invested in what he knew, in the locations he knew. He also helped many family and friends buy homes over the years. He was truly a self-made man. This laid the groundwork for the wonderful adventures he was able to enjoy with his girls and Louise over the years.

Don had so many unique experiences in his lifetime. The one consistent activity Don enjoyed throughout his life was hunting. He was incredibly thankful to have had fifty good years of hunting together with his own Dad, Harry Taylor. In his earlier years hunting trips provided food for his family and fun outdoor experiences with his parents, wife, brothers, friends, neighbors and more. Over the years, he took great joy in teaching and passing on his love for the outdoors and hunting to the younger generation. He traveled the world and experienced the thrill of big game hunting in places many of us have only seen on National Geographic: eight trips to Africa, three trips to Russia, a trip to Scotland and numerous trips to Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, Canada and more.

Louise went with him on many of his adventures, just as he supported her on hers. Louise travelled the world skiing, competing in marathons, triathlons, and bike rides. Don ran more road races than he probably wanted to, ran 1 marathon and participated in numerous triathlons and bike events. He stopped biking in 2000 when he was hit by a truck in Troy, Alabama and spent over 30 days in the hospital. Don said he has had 24 “good” bonus years as he should have died from his injuries in 2000. It just wasn’t his time!

In the late 80’s Don and Louise bought a small log cabin near Crystal Mountain. They enjoyed many years of skiing and hiking there and always welcomed family and friends to join in on their activities.

In his final days Don’s daughters set up his bedroom in what was lovingly referred to as the “Game Room,” where many of his trophies were mounted. Each animal came with a special memory, and it seemed fitting for him to spend his last days on earth reminiscing about the people in his life who shared these experiences with him. He also wanted to give special thanks to all his beloved hunting dogs of which he has shared his life. They each have an honored place in his heart.

Don is the last of the “South Bend” Taylors. He was preceded in death by his parents Harry and Noreen Taylor, sister Barbara and twin brothers Larry and Harry Taylor. In January of 2022 he lost his wife, Louise. Don had been well trained, unlike many men of his generation, and was able to live completely independently doing his own laundry, cooking, and maintaining the household!

Don is survived by daughters Rose Marie Webster, Linda Taylor Holt (Russ), Kathy Taylor Reed (Dan) and Lori Taylor Collet (Roeland), granddaughters Maari Winkley (Kyle) and Kari Branthwaite (Eric) and grandsons Joey Holt, Taylor Reed (Irang), Harry Collet, Steven Collet and great-grandchildren Presley Rose Branthwaite, Miles Winkley and Carter Winkley. He is also survived by two brothers-in-law Bob Rose and Dave Stella, three sisters-in-law, Senja Taylor Edwards, Carolyn Rose Stella and Janie Rose, two cousins Bob Lunt (Donna) and Vickie Adderson (Jim) along with numerous nieces, nephews, and friends from near and far. One of Don’s last bits of wisdom was “you’re never too old to make new friends”! His daughters were made aware of this over the last weeks of Don’s life as he had a steady stream of visitors and phone calls, people he had met from all walks of life.

A Celebration of Life will take place starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 22nd at Funeral Alternatives of Washington, located at 455 North Street SE, Tumwater, Washington 98501. At a later date, a private family interment will take place at Fern Hill Cemetery in Menlo, Washington.

In lieu of flowers or memorial gifts, spend time with family and friends, go outside and enjoy nature.