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Justus Taylor

During the past year, while Justus was contending with his disease, he was working with his wife Carla in their antique store, Greystone Gardens in Pittsfield, MA.  He had a great eye for finds and could fix anything that had damage and enjoyed talking with every customer.
Justus was a jack of all trades and a master at everything he did.  Recently he worked on small engine planes as a mechanic.  Prior to that, he worked for 16 years at Hemmings Motor News as vehicle consultant for the antique car collection.  For five years, he rallied in The Great American Race for Hemmings with his usual all consuming gusto.
He also worked with Mert Snow of Bennington fabricating paper folding machinery; a Rube Goldberg experience that was one of Justus' favorite work efforts.
For 15 years he worked as a freelance cameraman on jobs that took him many times around the world working with such companies as National Geographic in Alaska and Boeing; from Paris to Saudi Arabia. Justus remembered most fondly filming whales off the beaches of Argentina.  He was someone who literally always had a whale of a tale to tell.
He worked on musical videos and some major motion pictures as well as scores of industrial videos and commercials.  Justus enjoyed this work tremendously and the traveling it involved, but always enjoyed getting back to Vermont where his heart was and where he lived for most of his life.

He also raced motorcycles for BMW and his memories and love for this time of his life never dimmed.  Anything that involved speed or a challenge attracted Justus.

During the 1960's, Justus worked at Alan Block's sandal shop in Greenwich Village and ran and managed that store while developing his skills as a leather craftsman.  Later in the 1960's, he moved back to Vermont and opened his own shop called Vermont Leather at the Bennington Pottery site.  He was a superb leather craftsman and made sandals for the monks at Newskeet as well as for many, many folks in and around Bennington, some of whom still wear and love their sandals.
Justus met Carla Lund on Christmas Eve 1983 and they were married at their home in North Pownal on Christmas Eve 2001.  They celebrated their anniversary in the Berkshire Medical Center and shortly after, Justus expressed the fervent desire to return to Vermont where he passed 24 hours later at CLR in Bennington.  As he wished, he made it home to Vermont.
Justus attended high school in Chester, Vermont as well as The Stockbridge School in Stockbridge, MA.  He attended some college classes, but he remained a self taught student and open to learning for his entire life.

Justus has a daughter Laura Hauze that resides in PA, one granddaughter and a great granddaughter.
Justus has a brother Lee who lives in Philmont, NY, a brother Jonathan who resides in Great Barrington, MA, two half-brothers Seth who lives in Boston and Aram who lives in Denver, Colorado.
Justus' father David Taylor, 95 lives in Boston with his wife Shirley.
Justus was interested in all manner of natural phenomena; from the stars to birds, snakes, butterflies, plants.  He has an extensive library covering many nature studies which he enjoyed looking at often.  He loved reading the Tuesday Science section of the N.Y. Times. Science and nature always fascinated him.  He had a great love and affinity for animals as they did for him.
One of Justus' greatest loves in the past 20 years was flying sailplanes and all that went with this sport.  He absolutely loved soaring like an eagle.  He enjoyed working on the planes and preparing them for their flights as well as sharing this sport with all his fellow pilots.  He had previously been a power plane pilot, but enjoyed the quiet of the ride in a plane without a motor.  He always said that sail plane pilots had to be great pilots; they only had one chance to land!
Justus was a moveable feast; a Hemingway character, larger than life, charismatic and big hearted.  They still serve a Justus Burger at Alldays and Onions.  Wherever he was he brought his anecdotes and stories with him along with his charm and smile.  He was an irresistible and colorful character that will be sorely missed by all who were made happier by knowing him.  The sun in Southwestern Vermont always shone a bit brighter when Justus was in town.
During the last year of Justus' life, he began traveling again; this time deeply within himself.  He became engrossed with something called Journeywork which opened him to places he had heretofore never journeyed.  This was truly an important part of his wonderful life and he would say that this inner and spiritual time of his life brought him more joy than he remembered.  Justus was a magnificent person that traveled the wide world to find himself at peace and at Home.
A memorial celebration for Justus will be planned for the warmer months. Closer to that time, the plans will be announced in the Bennington Banner.
I wish to thank all who knew and appreciated Justus throughout his life.  I also wish to thank the Southwestern Vermont Cancer Center and the good doctors, technicians and nurses who provided such love and care in helping to prolong his life.
Contributions can be made to this center in Justus Taylor's name or to the Second Chance Animal Shelter in Shaftsbury, VT.

Posted: 1/12/2009

Final Glide 

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