Richard Dick W. Taylor

November 1, 1921October 4, 2015
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Richard White Taylor

Dick Taylor passed away on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015 at home, in Seattle. He was born to Odus and Kathryn Taylor on November 1, 1921 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was preceded in death by his wife of 35 years, Mary McLaury Taylor and his daughter and son-in-law Martha and Mike Biggs.

He is survived by his brother, Ray (Betty) Taylor of Southern Pines, NC and his sister, Sarah Jane (Paul) Waitt) of Sheridan IN; and his 4 children: Priscilla (Scott) Hickey of Seattle, Jane (Tim) Wilson of Santa Barbara, Mac (Debbie) Taylor of Monroe and Steve (Kris) Taylor of Bellevue; and his 9 grandchildren: Nate (Jennifer) Hickey, Sarah (Luke) White, Rebecca (Trace) Bundy, Andrea (Danny) Cutherell, Daniel (Casey) Taylor, Paul (Mari) Montoy-Wilson, Jen Taylor, Isabel Taylor, Finley Taylor; and his 7 great grandchildren: Lucia White, Sawyer Bundy, Cora Hickey, Wells Bundy, Theo Cutherell, Paul White and Lola Montoy-Wilson.

He will be missed by his large extended family and loving friends of all ages and all places. Please see the guest book and more information at:

Dick Taylor graduated of Sheridan HS in Sheridan, IN, Class of 1939 and received his Mechanical Engineering degree from Purdue University, graduating early in December of 1942 (ROTC). He was a veteran of WWII, Captain – US Army, 417th Field Artillery Group, a liaison pilot in Cologne, Germany and saw combat during the Battle of the Bulge.

Dick’s career spanned 50 years at The Boeing Company. He was hired July 3, 1946 and served as: an airplane designer; test pilot including B-47 Stratojet (first large, swept-wing jet powered airplane.); aerospace executive and consultant. He was the father of the 737, as the Director of Engineering during its development. He led the certification of Two-Person Flight Crew and was the father of ETOPS (Extended Range Twin Engine Operations). He retired as a Boeing Vice President and served as an EAA Board Member and Museum of Flight Trustee. Dick was an active pilot for 70 years and last flew his airplane December 2014.

He received numerous awards: Society of Experimental Test Pilots' Doolittle award (1967); Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from Purdue University (1973); FAA Distinguished Service Award (1991); National Aeronautics Association Elder Statesman of Aviation (1992); Museum of Flight Pathfinder Award (1993); Aviation Week & Space Technology Lifetime Achievement Award (2010).

He retired as Boeing Vice President in February 1991 and then served 5 more years as a consultant; he was an EAA Board Member Emeritus, a Museum of Flight Trustee, a Sandel Avionics Board Member and member of Bellevue Presbyterian Church. Dick was an active pilot for 70 years and last flew his airplane December 2014.

Graveside Service: Sunset Hills Memorial Park, Bellevue WA held on Friday, October 9th at 2:30 PM Memorial Service: Bellevue Presbyterian Church, on Saturday, October 31st at 1 PM Celebration Gathering: The Museum of Flight, Seattle WA, on Sunday, November 1st at 5 PM

In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to either: The Museum of Flight, Seattle WA Bellevue Presbyterian Church, Bellevue WA


  • Memorial Service Saturday, October 31, 2015
  • Celebration Gathering Sunday, November 1, 2015

Richard Dick W. Taylor

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Tandy Hennings

October 20, 2015

Dick Taylor was such a warm and generous person. We in the Cook family will always feel especially touched that Dick was so outspoken in his admiration for Bill Cook,(1913-2012). But beyond that, Dick Taylor was a friend. He will be missed, especially that sparkling smile and enthusiasm.

Dave T.

October 14, 2015

I have been, and will forever be, glad that Dick Taylor was my father's friend. Purdue was the glue that first bound them together, then church, then Mary and my Mom's friendship, and, finally, decades of a mutual delight in things curious and technical.

One memory: Dick asked my dad if he was interested in helping him hopscotch his new cooperatively built acrobatic plane back to Oshkosh, WI for the annual air show. Of course! Off they went, Dad (not a pilot himself) helping with small tasks along the way, keeping a rag handy during the many fuel stops, and talking away the hours as a quilt of farms and towns slid beneath them.

On their return, near Issaquah (almost home!), the required engine and airframe hours for new planes was met, meaning the Eagle II was cleared for acrobatics. Both men (sitting one behind the other in the narrow fuselage) knew the time had come. Dick's scratchy radio voice came over the intercom, "Warren?" "Yes?" said Dad. "Check your buckles."

And with that subtle bit of warning Dick Taylor nosed over into a dive, then pulled the plane into a loop, then a roll, followed by imitations of a falling leaf, a falling rock, a drunken bee...all manner of precise craziness. My dad whooped and clung to his seat and enjoyed it all. Thank you, Dick Taylor, for being my father's friend.

Andrea Cutherell

October 11, 2015

Greg Whiting

October 10, 2015

Greg & Jo Whiting

October 9, 2015

What a genuine pleasure it was to have known Dick, even though we only met this summer in connection with the book he and Sabra Gertsch were composing. A real class act with a wonderful sense of humor, warm smile and caring interest for everyone around him.

Priscilla Hickey

October 8, 2015

Seattle Mariners honored Dick Taylor at there last home game, October 4th, the day of his death. He would have enjoyed being there and watching the Mariners win their final game of the 2015 season. Watch the Tribute video on the link:

Johnny Therrell

October 8, 2015

Dick and eight other Boeing engineers made a most memorable highlight of my life when we came together to build and share flying in N16EE, a Christen Eagle II aerobatic biplane. Dick may your days of flight be eyternal.

Bob Bogash

October 7, 2015

Hard to believe, Dick - you were the guy who was going to outlive us all, a permanent fixture . I can't comprehend a world without RWT.

Boss, colleague, friend - the world is already a poorer place without you here - to counsel, to advise, to steer, to make the impossible happen. To have left such a huge imprint on the aviation world. The world will never see another, and I am proud, so proud, to have known you, worked with you, been privileged to call you friend.

Blue skies, fellow aviator - VFR always.

Mac Taylor

October 7, 2015

Dick with Granddaughter Dr. Jen Taylor, midwife

Mac Taylor

October 7, 2015