Thursday, October 12, 2017
9:00 AM to 10:00 AM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
409 South Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
Life Story / Obituary
With humility and reserve, Robert Taylor lived each day centered in his love of family. Loyal, intelligent, and private, Rob found his greatest joy in the simple pleasure being with the people who meant the most to him--his family. Rob possessed a natural desire to be of service and he often quietly offered his talents and resources to help others in need. Revered by many, Rob will be fondly remembered and deeply missed.
1953 marked the end of the Korean War, and the nation began to lean into a much welcomed time of peace. The year proved to hold exciting firsts; the polio vaccine was developed, the first color television sets, transistor radios, and Corvette cars were on sale, while the first James Bond novel made its debut and Peter Pan, From Here to Eternity and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes filled the theaters. The middle-class standard of living continued to grow and appeared to have no boundaries; it was definitely a time of much hope. Nowhere was there greater cause to celebrate the possibilities of hope than in Kalamazoo as Julius and Lillian (Ritsema) Taylor as they welcomed their son Robert into their hearts and home on March 15th.
Growing up the third child of the Taylor family’s nine children, Rob learned the values of hard work and family from the start. While his father worked as a welder, his mother helped provide for the family by working as a rubber dipper in a local manufacturing plant. The couple lovingly raised their children in the rural community of Vicksburg in the good company of many other working-class families.
After graduating from Vicksburg High School in 1972, Rob enlisted in the United States Navy. As the nation found itself in awe of Mark Spitz’s seven gold medals and the unfolding of the Watergate Scandal, Rob proudly began his four years of service to his country.
Upon returning home, Rob found a job at Arco Manufacturing where his mother worked. After a few years he took his talents to Cal Manufacturing, and for the last 20 years, he worked in Portage at LaRos Manufacturing.
Rob had the good fortune of meeting Cindy Renner when a mutual friend invited both of them to play a game of cards. Shortly after that fateful game, the two began dating and fell in love. On August 3, 1985, in the front yard of Cindy’s Aunt Joyce’s home in Vicksburg, Rob and Cindy celebrated their love in a marriage ceremony. Surrounded by family and friends, along with Cindy’s three children Robert, Brett, and Rebecca, the happy couple began their 24-year journey.
Without hesitation, Rob embraced his step-children wholeheartedly. Together, Rob and Cindy worked to create a loving home for their family. They centered their household in the same values of family and hard work that they’d both grown up with while also being living examples of the importance of serving others. Though fiercely independent and profoundly quiet, Rob was extremely generous. For over 20 years he volunteered at the Vicksburg Community Center, humbly offering his skill and kind heart. Robert had a few four legged faithful companions, his pig named Arnold and cats: Timothy, Tank and Miss Grey as well as many others over the years.
With a deep sense of loyalty, Rob unhesitatingly centered his world around his treasured family. Over the years Rob shared his love of fishing and bowling, watching Betty Boop animations, classic country and oldies music, and collecting comic books. One of his greatest gifts Rob gave to his loved ones was his unrivaled homemade pancakes. With great care, Rob mixed the batter with cheese and sausage creating the most delectable meal. Rob also shared his fascination for caves with his family, relishing in getting to travel to Kentucky to explore Mammoth Cave National Park.
Having the privilege of becoming a grandfather and great-grandfather proved to be Rob’s greatest joy. As each of his 14 grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren came into the world, Rob’s heart’s delight grew beyond measure. In each of their eyes, he could easily see the twinkle of his and Cindy’s legacy and his hopes for the future. Any time spent with the grandchildren was a gift and a treasure Rob held dearly in his heart. After Cindy died in 2009, Rob found being with his grandchildren the perfect balm for his heart.
Clearly, the world seems less certain without Rob’s steadfast presence. May it afford deep comfort to know that the gifts of his love and loyalty continue to grow in each of our hearts. With each cast of a lure, strike pursued, comic book enjoyed, and cave explored we celebrate Rob’s legacy in our own lives. In so doing, we assure that his spirit will continue to inspire others for many years to come.
Robert Taylor, of Fulton, passed away on Sunday, October 8, 2017, at the age of 64. He is survived by his stepchildren: Robert (Tina) VerMuelen, of Grand Rapids; Brett (Cherri) VerMuelen, of Comstock and Rebecca (Joseph) Rubert, of Vicksburg; 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings: Roberta Ulam, of Kalamazoo; Julius Taylor, Jr, of IN; Joseph Taylor, of Fulton; Randy (Michelle) Taylor, of Kalamazoo; Julie Taylor, of Vicksburg; June Taylor, of Kalamazoo; Sherry Blackmun, of Fulton. Close to Robert's heart were his nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his wife, Cindy and one sibling, Jan Taylor.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday at 10am at the Life Story Funeral Home, 409 S. Main, Vicksburg (269-649-1697). The family will receive friends on Thursday one hour prior starting at 9am. Robert will be buried with military honors at Fort Custer National Cemetery.
Please visit Robert’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can read his life story, sign the guestbook, and leave a memory. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to the American Cancer Society and/or Generous Hands.