Eric N. Taylor
Eric Taylor, 92, died February 5, 2021, at the Warner Hospice Center. His loving wife was by his side.
Eric was born in London, England. He was educated at the prestigious Christ Hospital boarding school, which he attended on a full academic scholarship. His university education was interrupted for two years while he served in the Royal Air Force. Soon after completing his education, he joined His Majesties Customs and Excise in the UK. He rose to the highest levels in this Civil Service. His positions included Head of Alcohol Beverages Policy, Head of Value Added Tax Administration, and Collector East Midlands. As Collector he had Customs and Excise tax responsibility for an airport, two ports and the postal service in the East Midland section of the country. He later worked for the IMF, the European Commission and the United Nations, designing and establishing tax administrations in countries around the world.
It was on one of his international assignments that he met his wife of twenty-six years. The two of them loved travel, and once counted that they had visited or worked in fifty-four countries on six continents. He was a great reader, and his wife says he had a “six book a week habit”. He also loved music, particularly classical, and most of all opera. He had a beautiful tenor voice, was a soloist in many choirs. As a young man Eric hoped to have a career in opera. But, as an indication of the way that he approached life, his favorite recording was Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”. Eric was an accomplished public speaker, always without notes. He gave his Best Man’s speech at his grandson’s wedding, when he was 90. He spoke fluent French, and could converse in German, Spanish and Italian. Eric was known for his writing skills, but few knew that he also penned beautiful poetry.
Despite his considerable accomplishments, Eric was most proud of his children, and the people that he had helped them become.
Eric’s gentle humor never ridiculed anyone but himself. He was the epitome of an English gentleman. He could have had an easy life, relying on any one of his exceptional gifts—his intellect, his many abilities, even his personality or handsome looks. But whatever Eric did, he worked hard at it. Eric always did his best.
Eric is survived by his wife of 26 years, Sandi, his children Philip, Nicola, Christina, Sara and Laurance, three stepchildren, six grandsons and eight, soon to be nine, great-grand children.
A Celebration of Eric’s life will be at a future date, when some of his family can be with us here in Fernandina Beach.