KEWANEE - William Alvin Taylor, 75, of Kewanee, passed away at 4:37 p.m., Tuesday, February 4, 2020 with his family beside him in Naperville, IL.
Cremation has been accorded and a memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, February 8 at the First United Methodist Church in Kewanee. Pastor Kevin Drane will officiate. Visitation will also be held at the church from 9:00-11:00 a.m. prior to the service and immediately following the service will be a luncheon for anyone who would like to join the family. Memorials may be directed or designated to the Kewanee Schools Foundation or Alzheimer’s Association.
He was born December 28, 1944 in Aurora, IL, the son of Guy Alvin Taylor and Isabella Marguerite (Fletcher) Long. Bill was raised in Aurora where he graduated from Aurora West High School. After completing his undergraduate degree in Biology and Education and graduating from Monmouth College in Monmouth, IL he married Judith Diane Conkling on August 5, 1967 in Latham, NY. He is survived by his four children; daughter, Erin Leigh Taylor Bennouna (Mohammed Ali Bennouna) of Naperville, IL and their children; Tarik, Alia and Sophia; a son, Matthew Lain Taylor (Jill Streicher Taylor ) of Kewanee, IL and their children; William, Benjamin and Lain; a daughter Catherine Ann Taylor McDoniel (George McDoniel) of Orland Park, IL and their children; Riley, Taylor and Luke and a son, Brian William Taylor (Nicole Aby Taylor) of Kewanee and their children; Quentin, Corbin, Maxwell, Mitchell and Claire. He is preceded in death by his loving wife Judith Conkling, his parents and his sister, Marilynne Grayce Taylor.
Bill was a successful athlete throughout high school and college as a wrestler and football player. He was honored when inducted into the Hall of Fame at Monmouth College for his wrestling and football achievements. After college, he chose a career as a high school Biology teacher at Kewanee Community Schools as well as a coach for the wrestling and football programs, eventually receiving the honor of induction into Kewanee High School’s Hall of Fame as a coach. He excelled most in the areas of impacting the youth of our community and helping to develop students into successful adults. He demanded high expectations and instilled a work ethic that he would mirror, as well as, an unwavering commitment both in the classroom and on the field. These traits were clearly evident in his parenting style as well but did not overshadow his unconditional love and support or his ability to be silly and fun. As a grandfather to 14 wonderful grandkids his unique “grandpa language” is at the top of the favorite memories list. Bill absolutely adored golden retrievers, cigars and was an avid reader of Bill Bryson books and Discovery magazines. He also enjoyed being involved with church committees, organizing local fundraising and volunteering for humanitarian efforts. Despite a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease, Bill most cherished his time and love of his family with his wife, children and grandchildren.
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