Joe Rufus Taylor
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Joe Rufus Taylor
  • December 1, 1939 - July 8, 2017
  • Nashville, Tennessee

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Joe Rufus Taylor, Jr. passed away on July 8, 2017. Born on December 1, 1939 in Pulaski, TN., he was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Emma Lee Taylor, his brother Melvin Taylor.

He is survived by his wife of fifty-three years, Jeanice Moore Taylor; his adored daughters, Kathryn Taylor-Valk (Tony) of Greeneville, TN and Jennifer Taylor Wagner (Jeff) of Marietta, GA; six beloved grandchildren, Courtney Anneke Valk, Olivia Taylor Valk, Jillian Galloway Valk, Nicholas Reese Valk, Ryland Joseph Wagner, and Davis Mathias Wagner. He is also survived by his brother, Ernest Allen Taylor of Newnan, GA.; sister, Patricia Taylor Phillips of Mandeville, LA. and a host of nieces and nephews.

Joe (J.R. to his Pulaski friends) graduated from Giles County High School, Martin Jr. College in Pulaski, and Belmont College in Nashville.
He began work at the Tennessee State Highway Department in 1963 as one of the early programmers in the new field of data processing. From there he went to Aladdin Industries as manager of data processing and finally to Nashville State Technical Institute where he spent thirty plus years as professor of data processing. He was proud of many accomplishments of the students who were in his classes over a long career.

He treasured lifelong friendships with his Pulaski buddies and was always delighted having company to share stories and jokes. His Woodmont Christian "geezer" friends have been steady cheerleaders in his year-long cancer battle. A positive spirit and enjoyment of other people highlighted every social encounter. A zest for life and the belief in the good in all people is a legacy his family will cherish.

However, his biggest happiness came from his "grands." Watching Jillian, Reese and Ryland in sports activities, following Courtney in world travels, visiting Olivia's Jr. High Classroom, and introducing Davis to fishing at the river fueled many of his stories.

The family wishes to thank the wonderful nurses and caregivers of Alive Hospice along with two outstanding sons-in-law who have kept the home-fires burning while Katie and Jennifer provided round the clock care for their dad.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Woodmont Christian Church, Alive Hospice, or the charity of one's choice.

Visitation will be held Friday morning at Woodmont Christian Gathering Space from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. followed by a Celebration of Life in the sanctuary.