The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

Bishop Taylor’s father moved family to Oklahoma

Published: September 26, 2019   

Basil H. Taylor, father of Bishop Anthony B. Taylor, who faithfully attended St. Mary Church in Ponca City, Okla., died Sept. 19. He was 90.

Born Aug. 28, 1929, in Houston, Taylor was the only child of Basil C. and Jewel Taylor. He grew up in Galveston, Texas, before moving to Fort Worth. He attended St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, and transferred to the University of Texas in Austin. Taylor graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and worked as a tab operator with the Continental Oil Company (Conoco) in Fort Worth, according to his funeral home obituary.

In 1953, he married Rachel Janet Roth at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Fort Worth and the couple went on to have seven children. In 1960, the family settled in Ponca City after being transferred for work. He retired as manager of the communications department at Conoco in 1987 after 35 years of service. Taylor founded the Taylormark Card Company.

In a homily for his father’s 90th birthday Sept. 1, Bishop Taylor explained that despite his father’s likely prestige in the company, being sent to everywhere from London to Dubai, he never bragged about or discussed his accomplishments.

“But what we did know loud and clear was that compared to his family, none of this mattered to him.  He and Mom were dedicated to raising us the best they could, so he worked hard to provide for us so that Mom could stay at home and work hard caring for us on the home front.  Their only ambition was to be the best parents possible, for our benefit and for the greater glory of God,” Bishop Taylor said.

Basil Taylor’s obituary stated he “played a lot of golf (two aces and a trillion bogeys or more).” Taylor volunteered at the St. Mary Cemetery, Ponca City Medical Center and was a lifetime Knights of Columbus member. His wife Rachel died April 26, 2016.

He is survived by five sons, Bishop Anthony B. Taylor, Michael Taylor, Joseph Taylor, Paul Taylor, Leo Taylor; two daughters, Mary Gamble and Rose Marie Woodard; 16 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.

A visitation and rosary were Sept. 22. A Mass of Christian Burial was held Sept. 23 at St. Mary Church in Ponca City, Okla. Memorials may be made to St. Mary School Foundation, 415 S. 7th St., Ponca City, OK 74601.

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