Former school board member, Taylor, dies

Published 11:37 pm Friday, June 6, 2008

NATCHEZ — Friday brought the loss of well-known, well-respected Natchez resident.

Dr. Eugene Taylor, 71, died Friday from respiratory failure.

Taylor’s son, Martin, said his father had been ill for some time.

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“We know he’s in a better place now,” he said. “And that helps a lot.”

And while Taylor will be missed by his family and friends the city itself may even mourn his death.

Those who knew Taylor said he was involved in an almost incalculable number of projects across the city.

Former city attorney Walter Brown said Taylor was deeply committed to his work as an orthopedic surgeon.

Martin said his father originally opened his own practice in Natchez in 1968.

Brown said since that time Taylor made the most of his talents as a doctor.

Brown said Taylor served as chief of staff for Natchez Regional Medical Center and was on staff at Regional and Natchez Community Hospital.

“Gene was more than just a valuable physician, he also took it upon himself to assume positions of responsibility in an unselfish way,” Brown said.

And the responsibility Taylor assumed was great.

Taylor served for several years on the Natchez-Adams School Board and was chairman of the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau Board.

Former Mayor Butch Brown said Taylor joined the CVB board at his request and “acted as a strong stabilizing force.”

Brown said without Taylor’s work on the board Natchez would not be the city so many enjoy today.

“If not for Taylor the city would be terribly, terribly weaker today,” he said.

And not only might the city would be weaker, some say it would not look the way it does today.

Former director of tourism Walter Tipton said Taylor played a great role in helping to establish the convention center and the visitor’s center.

“A lot of what we see is his work,” he said.

David Huber, former member of the Natchez-Adams School Board, worked with Taylor on the board.

Huber said Taylor’s work in helping to consolidate North and South Natchez High Schools was extremely valuable to the city.

But for all the work Taylor has done for the city, his son, and his family, will remember him as a loved one lost.

“We’re going to miss him,” Taylor said of his father.

Taylor was the father of three children and was married to his wife, Bobby, for 49 years.

“They would have been married 50 years in December,” Martin said. “We were planning a trip for their anniversary.”