Traverse City Record-Eagle


June 12, 2013

John Warren Taylor Died June 2, 2013

“Here today, gone to Maui!”

LEELANAU COUNTY — John Warren Taylor passed away at home on June 2.

He is survived by his three children, Jeffrey Taylor, Amy Taylor Johnson and Susannah Taylor; his five grandchildren; and his brother, Donald Taylor.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Sandra Robertson Taylor - his partner of 63 years - in February.

Jack was a graduate of Grosse Pointe High School, the University of Michigan (Bachelor of Science in Engineering) and Michigan State University (Master of Business Administration).

He enjoyed a varied career in the tire industry, including engineering, research and design (he held several patents), management and, in his latter years, as a noted forensic tire expert. His most visible engineering feat was the conversion of a ferris wheel from the 1964 World’s Fair into a giant Uniroyal tire. The tire has become a symbol of Detroit, and you can still see it while driving on I-94.

Jack enjoyed many hobbies. He played bridge until the end, via his iPad (technology was another passion). He was an avid tennis player and played in various leagues in Grosse Pointe, Rochester Hills, Traverse City, Glen Arbor and Wilbraham, Mass. Always athletic, he liked to cross country ski and jog on golf courses during off hours and collected golf balls as he went. He was once able to trade golf balls for services rendered to his dermatologist, which tickled him no end as another hobby was saving money. He had a lovely singing voice and sang all of his life, from being paid to sing at Christ Church in Grosse Pointe as a child (which he always said was his best job) to joining the chorus for the annual Traverse City performance of Handel’s Messiah.

Jack’s love for Leelanau County grew after he designed and hand-built his dream house, a series of 12-sided ‘pods’ overlooking parkland, Lake Michigan and Whaleback. He was incredibly proud that Sleeping Bear Dunes was voted The Most Beautiful Place in America and was an unabashed advocate for the area. His second geographic love, Hawaii, was a welcome home away from home during the winter months where he could play tennis and snorkel while Sandie indulged her love of reading (beachside, of course).

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