William Allen Taylor, Jr., age 92, passed away at home in Kinston on January 5, 2022, while being cared for by his three daughters, Allynna Stone (Jack), Becky Keeler, and Liz Arrington (Pat). Allen is survived by brother, Tom Taylor; daughter-in-law, Terri Taylor (the late William Allen Taylor, III); grandchildren Jason Brooks (Carrie), Jessica Walsh (Jason), Mandy Taylor, Mary Hannah Arrington, and Drew Arrington; great-grandchildren Liam Taylor, Bronwyn Brooks, and Grayson Brooks; and former son-in-law, Mark Keeler. Allen was predeceased by his wife, Joyce Sparrow Taylor, with whom he shared nearly 72 years of marriage; son, Bill; granddaughter, Trudy; grandson Will; great-grandson Jackson; his brother, Woody Taylor, and sisters Pearl Greene and Grace Thompson. Allen was especially grateful to caretaker, Renarda Gant and EMS support person, Jo Barfield the past three years.
Like many children of the Depression, Allen grew up in severe poverty. He recalled long hours in a tobacco field behind a mule dreaming of his plans for a better life. Allen did well in school and with the crucial financial support of Deep Run High School educators, Mr. and Mrs. Munn, Allen attended a year at North Carolina State University. While at NCSU he gained valuable knowledge about horticulture and livestock farming; this experience proved to be life changing for our father. Our parents began their married life in Kinston, where Allen worked as a buyer for Frosty Morn Meat Packing Company; then the family moved to New Bern where he managed Honeycutt Meats. They later relocated to Arkansas and Alabama to further Allen’s goal of establishing a cattle farm in central Alabama. For many years, they lived in Lowndes County, Alabama, operating Taylor Cattle Company and making lifelong friends.
Our parents spent several years near Liz in Georgia and ultimately retired “home” to Kinston to be near Allynna and extended family members who lovingly remember their Uncle Allen.
Allen and Joyce enjoyed a nightly card game of gin rummy. They loved to travel to the beach in NC or Alabama with family; these trips always included our father grilling steaks or cooking up a delicious but messy fish or crab stew. He was a loving and generous "Pop" to his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Allen was involved in leadership roles in various churches: Hayneville Baptist in Alabama, Hillside UMC in Woodstock, Georgia, and Westminster Methodist in Kinston. He hosted an annual fishing rodeo for Head Start children at his farm many summers, was an active member of Kiwanis, and St John's Masonic Lodge. He was honored as "Father of the Year” by the Lowndes County Alabama Cattlewomen Association in 1994. Allen had the vision for the creation of Taylor Family Resources to provide scholarships for descendants of Ozzie and Claude Taylor to further higher education within his family.
Our father was buried at a private, family, graveside service on January 7, 2022, at the Sparrow Cemetery in Deep Run NC. Reverend Dennis Peay officiated; the family is under the care of Howard Carter Funeral Home, Kinston, NC. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in William Allen Taylor's memory to a charity of your choice.
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