John Lee Taylor Jr.

March 8, 1947April 22, 2018

JOHN L. TAYLOR, JR March 8, 1947 – April 22, 2018

“Be wise in the way you act….Make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:5-6

John L. Taylor, Jr. beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather, uncle, cousin, friend, lawyer, and sportsman passed away on April 22, 2018 in Decatur, GA, a gentleman until the end.   JOHN L. TAYLOR, Jr. was born at Emory Hospital on March 8, 1947. His father, John Sr., was a property developer and his mother, Marjorie Cravey, was from a prominent political family with interests in banking and law. John attended Briarcliff High School where he was on the swim and wrestling teams and also received an academic letter. He spent summers teaching swimming and waterskiing at Camp Chimney Rock in North Carolina.

In 1962, he attained the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, and later the Order of the Arrow. He was graduated from Emory at Oxford in 1966, Emory University in 1968 and Emory Law in 1971. At Emory University he was an officer in the SGA and in Kappa Alpha. He was invited to be a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and was a proud of his appointment to the Barkley Forum. In law school, he was the articles editor of the law review and on the Moot Court team with Chandler Peterson and Charlie Rosebrock that won second place in the national competition in New York City. In the regional competition, John was awarded best oral argument and the team the best brief. He was recognized as the “outstanding graduate of 1971” of Province V of Phi Delta Phi. In 1969, John married Susan, his adoring and supportive wife, at Glenn Memorial UMC. After law school, he worked for Sanders, Hester, Holley, Ashemore & Boozer for one year before beginning basic training in the United States Marine Corps at Quantico, VA, where he was the President of the Mess. He received military legal training at the Naval Justice School in Newport, RI. He was posted to Cherry Point Naval Air Station, NC, where he defended or prosecuted cases as a Captain in the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG Corps). Daughter, Lee (Johnson) was born there. He became a hobbyist sailor and scuba diver off the coast of North Carolina. After an honorable three year tour of duty, in 1975 Captain Taylor, Susan and Lee returned to Atlanta. John joined the law firm Troutman, Sanders, Ashemore & Boozer. Daughter Anne Carter (Carros) was born. They lived in Druid Hills for nine years. John was president of the Druid Hills Civic Association during the infamous road fight. The Taylors helped to establish the Olmstead Park Society. John was an officer in the Young Lawyers section of the Atlanta Bar Association. In 1979, after third daughter, Sara Reese (Hudnall) was born, he established his own law firm, McDaniel, Chorey & Taylor now known as Taylor, Feil, Harper, Lumsden & Hess. In 1982, after purchasing a condo near St. Petersburg, Florida, he became an avid cyclist and sail boarder. He often biked to church, to work and around northeast and midtown Atlanta. He also enjoyed waterskiing and boating at his in-laws’ cabin on Lake Burton. In 1984, John flew around the world in a Leer jet, setting point-to-point speed records, with Kathy & Doug Matthews and David Marco, immediately after his family moved to Briarmoor Manor, a subdivision developed by his family. He and Susan enjoyed several “bare boating” trips to the BVI with the Matthews as well as sailing trips off the coast of Maine. In the late 1980’s, John’s interest in hunting was renewed. He kept his promise to Susan that he would hunt only animals that would be eaten. He shot quail and dove in South America and Mexico and all around the USA. In 1991, he purchased a small cabin on Rock Creek Road in western Montana where he hiked, hunted, fly-fished, rode horses and entertained family and friends. In 1994, after having been asked to play in the Judicial Invitational by Carl Sanders, he did the “John thing” and became a member of the Capital City Club to learn to play golf. He went to Sea Island for the “Judicial” many times. Also in 1994, John began a life-long friendship with the vintner Thomas Schmitt and family of Longuish, Germany. He and Thomas hunted in Germany, the Czech Republic and Hungary and imbibed many Schmitt Söhne wines. In 1996, he moved to the Brookhaven Club neighborhood to be closer to his work and to the golf course. He was helpful with legal issues involved with the neighborhood association as a member of the board. In 2004, he and Susan purchased Mark Hall Farm in Meriwether County, GA as a weekend retreat for fishing, hunting, swimming, hiking and entertaining family and friends with his stories. They became active members of Trinity UMC in Durand, GA. In 2005, he began to fish for Atlantic salmon on the Grand Cascapédia and Restigouche Rivers in Quebec, Canada. That experience led to duck hunting at the Dingville Duck Club with the Pauli family in California. He also fished in Alaska with the grizzlies and in Guatemala with his buddy Hank McLarty. He instilled a love of travel and adventure in his girls. At the age of ten, he took Lee and Reese to New York City; Anne’s NYC trip was at age twenty-one. For their twelve-year-old trip, John took Lee to Paris and Reese to London. At age fourteen, he took Anne to France and Germany. John’s valued clients included a number of professional wrestlers: Bill Goldberg, Rick “the Nature Boy” Flair, Hulk Hogan, Jim Ross and many more in the WWE - even Linda and Vince McMahon. When practicing, John was a brilliant litigator, representing multi-national and domestic entrepreneurs through Fortune 500 companies in state and federal trial and appellate courts all over the U.S. John made a name for himself navigating the regulation of liquor sales and distribution in the Southeast, eventually arguing tax law and alcohol regulations before the U.S. Supreme Court. Lee Askervold of Seagrams Chateau & Estate Wines took John and Susan to Paris in 1986 (dining in the Eiffel Tower with Perrier Jouët), to Bordeaux (to visit several chateaux and vineyards), and ultimately to the Bal de la Rose in Monaco. John was a speaker at many meetings of the National Association of State Liquor Administrators. He represented National Distributing Company and the Carlos and Davis families for forty years; enjoying his friendship with Michael, Thalia and Chris. He was often on the list of Super Lawyers of Atlanta and a member of the Lawyer’s Club. He also enjoyed his representation of Nioxin and the generous Graham family. He considered John and Elaine Carlos among his best friends. In 2014, John and Susan moved to Decatur with Anne Carter and her family to assist in rearing the growing brood of boys – currently six grandsons aged six to eight months (John was known to his grandsons as “ROCK”). On April 2, 2018, his first granddaughter was born in Dubai. In December 2017, he moved to the memory care unit of Arbor Terrace-Decatur. Even in the late stages of Parkinson’s disease with dementia, John endeared himself to the staff and visitors. Thanks for your loving care. Many thanks to his lunch buddies: Iain, Harrison, Clay, Cy, David, Margaret, Larry and Melvin. John was a lifelong Methodist, a member of Haygood Memorial UMC; then Trinity UMC, and was on the board of both churches. He dearly loved his girls; his grandchildren; Pretty Boy Floyd (beloved dog); the farm; the cabin; his church; his extended family; his law firm, partners and staff; his clients; and his invaluable helpers, Beau and Joe in GA and Joe, Deb and AJ in MT. Everyone loved him for his humor and his inclusiveness. John loved music and the arts. He was a consummate collector of books; arts and crafts furniture and pottery; bronzes; artwork (favorite artist Celeste McCollough) and turned wood bowls. However, his major collections were his friends. He cherished each one.

John is survived by his wife of 48 years, Susan; his children, Lee (Sean) Johnson, Anne (George) Carros and Reese (John) Hudnall; his 7 grandchildren, Dean, Alex, Zach, Frankie, Niko, Willie and Rowan; and his sister Jane Taylor.

(Semper Fi, Brother Mine)

A celebration of a life well lived will be held on Sunday, May 20, 2018 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Capital City Country Club of Brookhaven (compliments of Chris Carlos).

The funeral service is at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 21, 2018 at Haygood Memorial United Methodist Church.

In recognition of John’s life, a scholarship has been established in his memory to benefit Marines or students with military backgrounds. Contributions may be made to the John L. Taylor, Jr. Memorial Scholarship at Emory University School of Law, Office of Gift Records, Emory University, 1762 Clifton RD. Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30322, 404-712-4483.

“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Matthew 16:26


  • Celebration of John's Life Sunday, May 20, 2018
  • Memorial Service Monday, May 21, 2018

John Lee Taylor Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Carol voglesonger

May 19, 2018

Tom and John knew each other at Emory at Oxford, and I had the pleasure of meeting him in the 70's. Such a fun and endearing person to be around. I know he will be missed by so many! I am so sorry that Tom and I will not be able to attend the celebration of his life on Sunday, but please know that your family is in our hearts and prayers. Blessings to you all during this hard time. Love, Carol and Tom Voglesonger

John Watkins

May 11, 2018

I had the pleasure of practicing with John at Chorey, Taylor & Feil for a few years. John was an inspiration. He endured his Parkinson's with courage and grace. I remember many things about John, but one of the funniest was his comment about new liquor company clients: "I tell them that the firm requires me to get a retainer. But it can be a liquid retainer ..." My only regret is not knowing him sooner. I'm praying for John and his family. A great man and a great lawyer.