Sam Edward Taylor passed away on July 24, 2019 at the age of 84 following a courageous battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his loving family in the days and hours preceding his death. Sam was a man of strong faith and had a passionate commitment to his church. He was a member of First Baptist Church in Stephenville. Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m., Friday, July 26 at First Baptist Church in Stephenville.
Sam was born on November 17, 1934 to Elizabeth and Rufus Taylor in Alexander, Texas. On July 2, 1955 he married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Joy Lee McLarty. They celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary this summer. Together they had four children, ten grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Recently after a family picture, Sam proudly turned to Joy and said “can you believe we started all this?”
As a young boy, Sam developed his lifelong love for dogs, hunting and fishing. Well into his eighties he was still enjoying his late night coon hunts with his friends and hounds. One night about ten years ago, when he was in his seventies, they were on a hunt on a freezing cold night in January when one of his beloved hounds got trapped in a creek. With snow on the banks, Sam, without hesitation, jumped into the freezing, neck deep water to save his dog from drowning.
While in high school, Sam was a standout running back and linebacker for Stephenville High School. Following graduation from North Texas State University, his passion for sports led him to a career in coaching at his high school alma mater in Stephenville. Starting out as a junior high coach, Sam worked his way up to head football coach, head girls basketball coach, and athletic director of Stephenville ISD. Throughout the years, countless men and women have expressed to Sam and his family the wonderful and profound impact “Coach Taylor” had on their lives. One of the proudest moments of Sam’s life was when he coached a wonderful group of girls to Stephenville’s first and only State Championship in basketball in 1968. Coach Taylor’s successful coaching career culminated with his induction into the Stephenville Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993.
Sam retired from coaching in 1971 and moved his young family to Dublin to embark on a long and successful career in business. He and Joy owned and managed Taylor-Harbin Propane Company for many years. Sam was a founding director and shareholder of two banks, Cross Timbers Savings and Loan in Stephenville and Dublin National Bank in Dublin. In 1990 Sam acquired Taylor Feed Store in Stephenville and, along with his sons Tim and Todd, managed it for 25 years. One of Sam’s favorite past times was tending to his land and cattle, which he continued to do until recent months. In addition to his business pursuits, Sam served his community as the elected President of the Dublin ISD School Board for many years.
Sam’s endearing legacy is best described by his complete and unconditional devotion to his family. If a trip or activity didn’t involve his family, he didn’t have much interest in it. Nothing in life gave him more pleasure than supporting his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren no matter what they did. He enjoyed attending their sporting events, rodeos, and school programs, and especially enjoyed simple family time. From youth rec hall activities all the way through high school, not only did he regularly attend their games, one could usually find him watching their practices as well. Sam was the consummate family man.
Sam was preceded in death by his mother and father, two sisters and a brother. He is survived by his wife, Joy, their three sons and their wives, Sam Taylor, II and Delaina, Tim Taylor and Darla, Todd Taylor and Diora (Dee), and one daughter, Tamara Garber and her husband Robbie. Sam is survived by 10 grandchildren, Mikah Taylor, Sam (Trey) Taylor, III, Austin Taylor, Layci Rogers, Justin Taylor, Chance Taylor, Lauren Taylor, Zachary Taylor, Taylor Garber, and Dylan Garber. He is survived by 10 great-grandchildren, Boston Taylor, Lennux Haschke, Emmerson Haschke, Sam (Dru) Taylor, IV, Peyton Taylor, Nora Jane Taylor, Pace Padget, Tayli Rogers, Khloe Taylor and Kinsley Taylor. Sam is survived by one sister, Mary Coe of Fort Worth, two sisters-in-law, Jean Gaines of Stephenville and Betty Menefee of Frisco and one brother-in-law, Sammy McLarty and his wife Karan.