Bill was born in Twin Falls, ID to George O. and Orpha Ward Taylor on July 18, 1931. He grew up on a farm, where according to legend, his mother made a pie EVERY day! He graduated from Twin Falls High School in 1949. He attended the University of Idaho, graduating in 1953 with a B.S. in Agriculture. During college he was an enthusiastic member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Because he had to finance his education, he looked for opportunities to create some income, taking tickets at all sporting events, managing the laundry concession at the Beta house, selling sandwiches on campus to hungry students, and hashing in sororities. He was a member of ROTC and on graduation day he was commissioned as 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He served in Korea as an army fixed wing and helicopter pilot. His final assignment in Korea was as personal pilot for Lt. General Montague, corps commander. In late 1956 his last assignment was at Fort Sheridan, Illinois as a helicopter pilot for an army unit.
Bill attended the University Of Oregon Dental School in Portland, where he graduated with a DMD in 1962. During his years in dental school he was a member of the Oregon National Guard, and upon graduation left the Guard with the rank of captain. He opened a practice in Boise, ID in 1962, where he practiced until his retirement in 1991. At the urging of the State of Idaho, the Idaho Dental Association asked Bill to research other states’ plans for providing dentistry for indigent patients. He incorporated and became the first president of the non-profit Idaho Dental Service Corporation that ultimately became Delta Dental Plan of Idaho. After a few years of voluntary service, he turned over the management of the Corporation to a full time director.
On July 2, 1960, Bill married Patricia Bartlett in Lewiston, ID. They enjoyed 55 years of marriage and a happy family life with their four daughters, Julie, Marcy, Meg and Molly. He was the very best of fathers, instilling in his daughters a sense of discipline, a strong work ethic, a sense of humor, and a love of the arts. He tried to teach them to model his humility, but he wasn’t always successful at that! He taught his daughters how to ski and play tennis, how to mow and rake a lawn meticulously, how to recognize when they were singing off key, how to clean his dental office like professionals, how to appreciate jazz, and how to properly play the slots.
Bill was a wonderful blend of scientist and artist. He loved to work with his hands, making beautiful sculptures out of stone and wood and tying his own dry flies. Music was also essential to his life. He played clarinet in the Twin Falls High School band and orchestra, Twin Falls City Band, and the University of Idaho Marching Band. He and a friend formed a dance band that played at high school dances in the area. During his years in Boise, he sang for a time with the Elks Gleemen, and as a charter member of the Boise Master Chorale. One of his favorite musical experiences was being a member of the cast of My Fair Lady in the inaugural performance at the Morrison Center in 1984. He was also quite a fine dancer before Parkinson’s took its toll. He danced at all four of his daughters’ weddings. They are thankful that they got their rhythm and musical ability from him, and some of their most cherished memories involve singing together with their dad.
For many years Bill was involved in church life, as a lay minister at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Boise and, after retirement, at St. Mary’s Parish in Moscow. He was the first parish council president at Our Lady of the Rosary and was chairman of the finance committee during the planning and early building stages of the current church.
For his years of service to church, dentistry, and community, Bill was selected as a Distinguished Citizen by The Idaho Statesman of Boise in 1990.
Bill and Patty retired and moved to Moscow in 1995. He then spent many years as an advisor to his fraternity and was a long-time supporter of academic scholarships for Beta and Vandal athletics. He enjoyed various retirement activities – golf, fishing, sculpting, singing in the Washington Idaho Chorale, and especially travelling extensively with Patty throughout the United States and Western Europe.
Bill is survived by his wife of 55 years, Patty; his daughters Julie Trail (Martin), Marcy Taylor (Michael Brockman), Meg Taylor (David Grossman), and Molly Taylor (Tea Prlainovich); his five grandchildren Carli Trail Swift (Justin), Cooper Trail, Jack Wheldon, Harry Wheldon, and Maggie Brockman; his sisters-in-law Sharrol Bartlett St. Marie and Mary Rauch Bartlett; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Howard and George E.Taylor, and his grandson William Brockman.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Beta Theta Pi Fraternity Scholarship Fund c/o UI Foundation, 875 Perimeter Dr, Moscow, ID 83844; St. Mary’s School Foundation, P.O. Box 8485, Moscow, ID 83843; or Gentiva Hospice, 1610 NE Eastgate Blvd. Suite 850, Pullman, WA 99163
A prayer vigil will be held at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 618 E. 1st St., Moscow.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Church on Thursday, February 25 at 11:00 am with Fr. Michael St. Marie, Bill’s nephew, officiating, along with Fr. Joseph McDonald and Fr. Joseph Schmidt. Lunch will follow immediately in the parish hall.
Interment will follow at 3:00 pm at Normal Hill Cemetery in Lewiston, ID.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Short’s Funeral Chapel, Moscow, and online condolences may be sent to www.shortsfuneralchapel.net.