Thel Taylor

Thel Ward Taylor, 86, of Union City died at his home on Dec. 30, 2015. Visitation will be held Saturday from 9-11 a.m. at White-Ranson Funeral Home in Union City. Dr. Tim Atkins will officiate at the graveside service at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Terrace Hill Cemetery in Troy. The family requests memorials be sent to the Alzheimer’s Tennessee Research Fund, 5801 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919; or to Union City First United Methodist Church.
Mr. Taylor was born Oct. 8, 1929, to the late May (Byars) Taylor and Thel Love Taylor. He married Judy (Jackson) Taylor in 1999. She survives. He lived most of his life on West Florida Avenue and attended the former Westover and Central Elementary schools.
He graduated from Union City High School in 1947 and then worked for the FBI in Washington, D.C., as a clerk in records and fingerprinting. He joined the U.S. Air Force for a year and served six years in the Air National Guard. He attended the Memphis Academy of Art, the University of Memphis and Murray State and received a bachelor’s degree at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He received a master’s degree at Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville and did his post-graduate studies at Florida State University.
His teaching career included five years at Obion County Central High School, teaching art and biology, and 26 years of art instruction at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Mr. Taylor was an artist, writer, illustrator of books and lifelong book collector.
He is also survived by his daughter, Meryt Wilson of Rutherfordtown, N.C., and her husband, Kirk; his daughter, Melanie (Taylor) Hollis; his son, Thel Taylor Jr. and his wife, Kim (Paschall) Taylor; and his stepdaughter, Kristi (Jernigan) Townes and her husband, David, all of Union City. His family also includes eight grandchildren, Lauren (Wilson) Lockhart and her husband, Stephen, of Shelby, N.C., Emily (Wilson) Brock and her husband, Brannon, of Rolling Hills, S.C., Rose Wilson of Murfreesboro and Karly Hollis, Sadie Hollis, Duncan Hollis, Ginny Taylor and Will Taylor; and two step-grandchildren, Jake Townes and Davie Townes, all of Union City. His seven great-grandchildren are Audrey Lockhart, Adalyn Lockhart, Caleb Lockhart, Silas Brock, Harrison Brock, Luke Brock and Kensley Wilson.
Condolences may be sent to the family at the funeral home website: www.white-ranson.com.

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