Robert Richard Taylor, 79, of New Market, Va., and a longtime resident of Watertown, N.Y., passed away after a 2 ½-year battle with cancer on Wednesday, February 26, at Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital, surrounded by his family.
The youngest of 10, Bob was born June 4, 1934, in Monkton, Md., to Charles C. and Grace M. Taylor.
He married his childhood sweetheart, Ruth Hope Heaps, on October 10, 1951, in Riderwood, Md. That same year, he enlisted in the United States Army, where he went on to serve tours of duty in Korea and Vietnam before he was honorably discharged in 1971, at the rank of Sergeant First Class.
After retiring from the military, he was employed at S.J. Campisi Co., Watertown, and as a civilian on Fort Drum.
In 1984, he and Hope purchased the S.J. Campisi Co., which they owned and operated with their son, Robert J., until its sale in 1995.
A talented woodworker, gifted green thumb, and master of every tool in the shop, Bob earned the nickname of Worlds Greatest Fixer Daddy from his children and grandchildren. His greatest pleasures included a good cup of coffee (made to Army standardsnever Navy), long drives, views of his beloved Shenandoah Mountains and racing Hope to complete the daily crossword puzzle.
While Bob adored every holiday (particularly those celebrated with a turkey dinner with all the trimmings), he was especially fond of April Fools Daythe perfect outlet for his sense of humor and knack for wildly elaborate pranks.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children and their spouses, Donna and Richard Benevides, New Market, Va., Linda and Ray Kerney, Ephrata, Pa., Susan and Allen Tripp, Crossville, Tenn., and Robert and Wendy Taylor, Lansdale, Pa.; two brothers and their wives, Charles and Judy Taylor, Millsboro, Del., and Ralph and Betty Taylor, Phoenix, Md.; four grandchildren, William VanDoren and his wife, Lindsey, Abigail Heverin and her husband, Drew, Nicholas Taylor, and Katherine Taylor; one great-granddaughter, Amy VanDoren; and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by four sisters, Catherine Amos, Edna Noppenberger, Estella Foster, and Irene Smith; a brother, Kenneth, a sister and brother who died in infancy, and his great-granddaughter, Margaret VanDoren.
A private service was held for attending family.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sentara RMH Medical Center, c/o RMH Foundation, 2010 Health Campus Drive, Harrisonburg, Va., 22801 (designate RMH Hahn Cancer Center), or the New Market Area Rescue Squad, PO Box 399, New Market, Va., 22844-0399.
Lindsey Funeral Home in Harrisonburg is handling arrangements and online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.lindseyharrisonburg.com.