September 17, 1931 – April 25, 2018
Ralph “Sonny” Taylor, age 86, of Newton, passed away on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at the VA Medical Center in Asheville. He was the son of the late Grover Cleveland Taylor and Dicey Ann Dunn Taylor.
In addition to his parents, he is also preceded in death by his wife, Shelby Jean Bolick Taylor.
He is survived by his daughters, Jock Simmons and husband, Larry, Kimberly LeBlanc and husband, Michael; son, Todd Taylor and wife, Jennifer; grandchildren, Jessica, Taylor, Andrew, Zach, and Ben; great-grandchildren, Abigail and Christopher; sisters, Nancy, Ruby, Ruth, Helen, and Arlee; and brother, GC Junior.
Sonny was born on September 17, 1931 in Lincolnton, North Carolina. He graduated from Lincolnton High School where he was considered one of the best backfield runners Lincolnton High School ever produced.
Sonny joined the United States Marine Corps when he was 20 and served in Korea. He also boxed in the Marines, and was considered one of the outstanding middleweights in the Far East.
Sonny left the Marines in 1955 and was offered a scholarship to Wingate College. He decided to continue his boxing career and was considered the best fighter in North Carolina at the time. He was known as “the man with the dynamite in both fists”. On April 23, 1993, Sonny was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC. On November 7, 2009 he was inducted into the Lincolnton Hall of Fame for high school football and his boxing career.
A big part of his life was coaching boxing and mentoring young men. Sonny loved college football, and his favorite team was UNC. He was also a skilled card player.
A Memorial Service will be held on May 19, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at the VSW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), in Lincolnton.
Memorials may be made to a children’s charity of one’s choice.
Condolences may be sent to the Taylor family at www.drumfh-conover.com.
The Taylor family has entrusted funeral arrangements to Drum Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Conover, NC.
- Memorial Service Saturday, May 19, 2018