John E. Taylor, 86, native of Farmerville, Louisiana, and longtime resident of South Riding, Virginia, died October 14, 2020 of heart failure.
John was born to Henry Earl and Sallie Taylor on December 28, 1933 in Farmerville, Louisiana. He attended Northeast University as an ROTC student while also working as a full-time reporter for The Monroe Morning World.
Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S.Army and entered service at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. John served over 27 years (with a brief teaching stint at Neville High School, Monroe, Louisiana) and retired as a full colonel. His military experience included serving as an Army Ranger, participating with the Special Forces, and carrying out various career artillery and public affairs assignments. Among his proudest accomplishments was participating in the release process of the USS Pueblo’s captain and crew, who had been imprisoned 11 months by the government of North Korea.
He followed his military service with a second act as a social studies teacher at Chantilly High School. While there, he deeply influenced many students and, at his students’ request, delivered the commencement address to the class of 1993.
John was devoted to his family. He is survived by Patricia Taylor, his wife of 56 years; his daughters, Shawn McKinley and Erin Rauner; sonsin-law Bruce McKinley and Steve Rauner; and his grandchildren: Grant McKinley, James McKinley, and Maddie Rauner, known as “the treasures.”
John lived out his Christian witness in his daily walk and was a faithful member of Ox Hill Baptist Church. He fought the good fight, fin ished the race, and kept the faith.
The family will announce a date for a memorial service where his many friends can gather and celebrate his life. A future private service with full military honors will also be held at Arlington National Cemetery. Donations in his name may be made to the “Audio/Video Fund” at Ox Hill Baptist Church, 4101 Elmwood Street, Chantilly, Virginia, 20151.