Edward Winfield "Ed" Taylor, 91, passed away at Rex Hospital in Raleigh on Friday evening, June 26, surrounded by family.
A graveside service will be held Tuesday, June 30, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. at Clinton Cemetery with Dr. Ed McLeod officiating. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Ed was born in Roanoke Rapids to George Buck and Bessie King Taylor on February 12, 1929. It was a family of talented musicians. In his youth, Ed and his siblings would entertain their parents and neighbors with musical performances. By the age of 15, he had formed his own band which played for World War II VE and VJ day victory dances at the Roanoke Rapids Armory.
After graduating Roanoke Rapids High School in 1946, he attended Shenandoah College in Virginia where he played in dance bands and pitched baseball. He soon left the Virginia mountains to join the USArmy Air Corps which shortly thereafter became the US Air Force. It was during his time in service that he became a member of the US Air Force Band and broadened his musical experience by serving as drum major of the marching band and playing in the concert band and in the dance orchestra.
When he completed his service career, he attended Richmond Professional Institute (now Virginia Commenwealth University), receiving a bachelor's degree in music education. and later at ECU, a master's degree in the same field. Ed's first teaching position was as band director at Plymouth High School. In 1955, he moved to Clinton and began his 36-year tenure as director of the Clinton High School Band, chorus, and concert band. While director, Ed's bands received countless awards and distinguished honors and were recognized as among the best in the state and the country. In 2011, he was inducted into the North Carolina Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame.
In Clinton, Ed coached Little League baseball and football. He spent many hours working with hundreds of young boys, including his three sons. His competitive nature inspired these young boys to do their best and have winning teams. In addition to teaching and coaching, Ed served as choir director at Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church for several years. He also played Big Band music with several area dance bands.
In retirement, Ed served as clinician and judge at band events and performed with church choirs, including Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church in Clinton and the First Presbyterian Church in Raleigh where he was currently a member. He also enjoyed traveling to many locations in the USA and to several European countries. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his family whom he loved more than anything.
He is survived by his wife, Mable Hardison Taylor of the home; three sons: Jeffery and wife Cathy, of Ashburn, Virginia; Barry of Clinton; Edward, Jr. and wife Laura, of Sterling, Virginia; one sister, Lois Taylor Batton of Roanoke Rapids; six grandchildren: Andrew, Amelie, Caroline, Jessica, Blane (fiancée, Jessica Mitchell), and Baylee; and many beloved nieces and hephews.
Ed was predeceased by his parents, his brothers: Raleigh "Tom", Jarvis, Raymond and Levi, and two sisters: Ethel Edwards and Vivian Taylor.
The family will receive friends at the home of his son, Barry Taylor, 205 Tomahawk Trail, Clinton. As a reminder, when visiting the family and/or attending the service, please wear a mask and practice social distancing.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Edward W. Taylor Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 975, Clinton, NC 28328.
Royal-Hall Funeral Home is honored to serve the Taylor family.
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