Douglas Coalson Taylor
February 21, 1938 – May 27, 2019
Douglas Coalson Taylor passed away on Memorial Day, May 27, 2019, at the age of 81, from complications of heart and renal failure, surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his wife, Avlona Yarbrough Taylor, daughters Karen (Patrice Walsh), Kathryn (Paul Barchilon), and his sister, Evelyn Taylor. A man of profound intellect, keen humor, and wide-ranging interests, he will be deeply missed.
Douglas was born February 21, 1938, in Brownwood, Texas, the son of James Yantis Taylor and Leta Simpson Taylor. Early years were spent in Buffalo, NY, where his sister, Evelyn, was born. They subsequently moved to Garland, Texas, where the family business, J. Y. Taylor Mfg. Co. was started.
As a child, Doug displayed an early aptitude for music and began piano lessons. His music teacher became accustomed to Doug suggesting what pieces he’d like to study. Before the end of high school he had acquired a great deal of proficiency and a consuming passion for music.
During his teenage years Doug was introduced to the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, and went on to develop a deep and scholarly interest in the quatrains, devoting much of his life to that study. Doug became a considerable expert in the field, amassing one of the pre-eminent collections of his time, which included editions of the Rubaiyat and related materials. He was often consulted by other scholars, serving as a well-respected source for Rubaiyat questions, no matter how obscure.
Doug found his intellectual and musical partner in his wife Avlona, whom he met in 1959 while attending the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. Avlona and a fellow student were walking past a practice room when they heard the music of a little known composer. Her friend remarked, “I know of only one pianist who plays Scriabin, and that's Doug Taylor.” All three then went out to a dinner of lively conversation at Mom's Spaghetti House.
Douglas and Avlona were married June 16, 1961, in Dallas, Texas. Their daughters Karen and Kathryn were born in 1962 and 1965 respectively, while the family was living in Washington, D.C. Doug’s love of music and love of learning were passed on to both his girls. He played the piano every day and the family home was always filled with music.
The Taylors moved back to Texas in 1966, and Doug and Avlona became board members of the newly established Garland Symphony Orchestra, of which Avlona was keyboardist. Doug served as President for a time, taking great pleasure in the orchestra’s growth and its contribution to the cultural life of the community.
Doug spent considerable time researching under-appreciated and little-performed composers of merit. One of these was Sorabji, whose difficult and cerebral music Doug took pleasure in. Doug’s research was incorporated in Paul Rapaport’s biography of Sorabji, and was credited in the acknowledgments.
After retirement, Douglas and Avlona moved to Boulder, CO, where their daughters and Evelyn had relocated. The Taylors enjoyed the annual Ragtime Festival for many years, and attended the CU Presents Artist Series regularly, went on various Senior Center trips, and were important supporters of the arts. They took pleasure in their new neighbors and friends, making a home among those they loved. Doug was a Renaissance man, knowledgeable and proficient in a wide range of subjects, curious, intelligent, and an indefatigable learner. His scholarly pursuits connected him, from his home in Boulder, with like-minded people all over the world. His geniality and his dry sense of humor were cherished by those who knew and loved him. He will be missed on many levels, in many hearts.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 29, 2019, at 2pm at Crist Mortuary, 3395 Penrose Place, Boulder, CO 80301. Memorial contributions may be made to the CU Presents Artist Series, Meals on Wheels of Boulder CO, or the Wild Animal Sanctuary, Keenesburg CO. Please visit the online guestbook at cristmortuary.com
- CU Presents Artist Series
- Meals on Wheels of Boulder
- The Wild Animal Sanctuary
- Celebration of Life Saturday, June 29, 2019
Douglas Coalson Taylor
June 28, 2019
Long, long ago, while I was still in elementary school, Mama and Papa drove me to visit our nation’s capital. At that time, Uncle Douglas, Aunt Avlona, and young Karen were living near DC, so we stayed with them. I don’t remember much about the sites around DC, but I do remember Uncle Douglas’ large collection of Mad Magazines and his beautifully crafted models. Because I asked so many questions about how he was able to paint them with such detail, he gave me Godzilla. I still have it!
June 16, 2019
I know that I have been out of touch with Uncle Douglas and the family for many years, but I will always cherish the memories with him from my childhood. Christmas time was the best because Uncle Douglas was there. His fun stories about history and knowledge of pop culture were never ending, he had and would always be willing to play the best games. Uncle Douglas was most gentle, generous, giving and the coolest, cross between Fonzie, Willy Wonka and Bob Dylan. I believe from my memories this is the way he would have wanted to be remembered. Live life to the fullest, never stop learning, appreciate and enjoy what life has to offer. Music appreciation is perhaps my favorite hobby. Uncle Douglas was music. I finish writing this tearfully, you will be loved and missed forever.
June 14, 2019
Oh, Dad, I miss you so much! You taught me so much about music, from the Beatles to Balakirev, from ragtime to Rachmaninoff, from Sorabji to Scriabin. I will always remember hearing you play during my childhood and in later years when I would come over to the house. The piano is now silent, but never forgotten.
June 12, 2019
We will miss his wit, charm, and sweet chuckle. Andy so admired his Uncle Douglas as a young boy and he had the same effect on me when I joined the family. He was a wonderful man, husband, father, uncle and will be missed by all.