January 8, 1932 – June 9, 2019

George Taylor was born in Brooklyn, NY, and moved to Massapequa on Long Island when he was 8 years old. Long Island was an important center for the manufacture of military aircraft during World War II and these aircraft were regularly seen flying around the island. George was enthralled by the fighters and bombers in the sky, many forming up for flights to Europe.

His father was an aircraft mechanic and ground instructor in England in World War I and was also an excellent wood craftsman. So it was natural that young George started building balsa wood models and later earned a pilot license for airplanes and glider.

He became a radio operator in the Air Force and much enjoyed his year on an isolated post, Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, spending countless hours exploring the beach and lagoon. On his days off he would often check out a parachute and hop a ride in one of the large military aircraft when local pilots performed recurrency training. After the Air Force he worked at Republic Aviation and Brookhaven National Laboratory where he met his future wife Kathleen Karen Taylor. They were married in 1971.

George joined the Long Island Soaring Association where he towed gliders and gave many hours of instruction and rides in gliders. This pattern continued after they moved to Colorado and joined the Soaring Society of Boulder. He was an enthusiastic ambassador for soaring, talking up soaring and offering free glider rides to everyone he met. They moved to Los Alamos in 1998 and continued flying sailplanes from the Moriarty airport in New Mexico. Much of his cross country flying was in the Schweizer 1-34 (in which he flew diamond distance) and the Schleicher ASW20 which they owned for 15 years.

George built a wooden Duster sailplane with the first flight coming in 1977. For a number of years he was co-editor of the newsletter of the Duster Sailplane Association. He became known in the local homebuilt aircraft community as a skilled pilot and was asked to perform the early test flights on a number of homebuilts. He continually thought of imaginative solutions to unusual problems.

From his time at Brookhaven and through much of the rest of his life, George continued learning Mandarin from Chinese friends and tutors. This knowledge was helpful when he traveled to China with the Civil Air Patrol for whom he had instructed at several summer encampments.

He enjoyed gardening and loved discovering unusual plants. For decades he tended the Ti plants that grew from a seed he brought back from Kwajalein, seeing it bloom only twice.

George is survived by his wife Kathleen, daughter Jennifer Estelle Taylor Perry of Coronado, CA, grandchildren Brittany Noel Sardella (Long Island, NY), Joseph Allan Perry, and Samuel Craig Perry (Coronado, CA), great grandchildren Salvatore Carmine Sardella and James David Merkle (Long Island, NY), Sister Winifred Leslie Warwick and brother-in-law Peter Warwick of Middletown, NJ.

He was preceded in death by his father George Frederick Taylor, mother Agnes Blanche Murray Taylor, brother Peter Gill Taylor, and first wife Irene Dunne Taylor.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 am on July 2, 2019, at Fuller Lodge, 2132 Central Avenue, Los Alamos, NM.

In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the Soaring Society of America Eagle Fund or to the Alzheimer’s Association.