Striffler-Hamby Mortuary - LaGrange

1010 Mooty Bridge Road, LaGrange, GA


John Meadows Taylor

March 7, 1943July 25, 2020

John Meadows Taylor, age 77, of LaGrange died on July 25, 2020, at West Georgia Hospice.

Born on March 7, 1943, in Savannah, Georgia, he was the son of James William Taylor and Christine Meadows Taylor. He was educated in the public school system in LaGrange and graduated from LaGrange High School in 1961. He attended the University of Georgia, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta, and graduated in 1965 with an A.B. in political science. In 1968, he received his Juris Doctor degree from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, where he was a founding member of the Cumberland Law Review. He was first admitted to practice law in Georgia and Alabama in 1968.

After passing the bar, Mr. Taylor was a Captain in the United States Army, serving in the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps from 1968 to 1973 at Fort Knox. After leaving the Army, Mr. Taylor returned to LaGrange in 1973, where he began practicing law with the firm of Sims & Lewis, now Lewis, Taylor & Todd, P.C. He was appointed to the Georgia State Board of Education in 1983 by Governor Joe Frank Harris, serving until 1990, including as its Vice Chairman for Appeals and Chairman of Administrative Services Committee. During his career, Mr. Taylor represented, among other longtime clients, the Troup County School System; Harris County School System; and Harris County Board of Commissioners. He twice served as President of the Georgia Council of School Board Attorneys. Shortly prior to his death, Mr. Taylor was in the process of retiring from the practice of law after 52 years.

Mr. Taylor was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church of LaGrange. At the time of his death, he was a member and the longtime teacher of the Builders Men’s Sunday School class.

Mr. Taylor participated in various civic and community activities, including serving on the board of the Troup County Historical Society in various capacities, including a term as President; he was currently the Trustee Representative to the Board. He had also been a member of the Great Books Club, Gridiron Secret Society, LaGrange Gridiron Club, Troup County Bar Association, and LaGrange Lions Club.

Mr. Taylor was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Anita Willoughby “Bit” Taylor of LaGrange; daughter, Dean Taylor Cleaveland, and her husband Phil of Atlanta; and granddaughter, Julia Willoughby Cleaveland, also of Atlanta. He is also survived by his sister, Julia Wilkes Taylor of LaGrange; nephew, John Edward “J” Willoughby, Jr. of Birmingham, Alabama; great-niece, Samantha Jean Willoughby of Birmingham, Alabama; and numerous cousins.

A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, those desiring may make memorial gifts to West Georgia Hospice, 1510 Vernon Road, LaGrange, Georgia 30240; Troup County Historical Society, P.O. Box 1051, LaGrange, Georgia 30241; or First Baptist Church Benevolence Fund, 207 W. Haralson Street, LaGrange, Georgia 30240.

Those wishing to share a condolence or remembrance with the family may do so by visiting www.shlagrange.com.

Arrangements are by Striffler-Hamby Mortuary, 1010 Mooty Bridge Road, LaGrange, GA 30240 (706) 884-8636


  • West Georgia Hospice
  • Troup County Historical Society
  • First Baptist Church on the Square Benevolence Fund


  • A Private Family Life Celebration Service will be held at a later date.


John Meadows Taylor

have a memory or condolence to add?

Milton West

August 3, 2020

To the Family,

I worked with John while I was the interim special education director for the Harris County School System. He was a gentleman and a formidable attorney. He was a skilled mediator and we became friends. His laughter was a delight. He will be missed.

Milton West

Sharon (Dee) Williams

August 3, 2020

Mrs. Bit,

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I am so sorry to hear of John’s passing my condolences to you and the family. Let me know if I can help you in anyway.


Stuart Gulley

August 3, 2020

Dean, my heart is so heavy for you. 2020 is challenging enough, and what you are having to manage with the loss of your father and your mother's care is just unimaginable. Know that my heart is with you and Phillip. If there is anything I might do for you, please reach out. Blessings on you. Stuart Gulley

Tommy Lee

July 31, 2020

John was the Harris County Georgia School Board Attorney during the eight years I served as Superintendent. He was an excellent Board Attorney and it was an honor to work along side him, We became friends and I will miss him greatly!

Susan Metcalf

July 30, 2020

I am so very sorry about losing your life long partner Bit! John was a wonderful person that served this community with dignity and loyalty! Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

La Trenda Tyler-Jones

July 30, 2020

We had the pleasure of knowing John through our service on the Harris County Board of Education. He was a true southern gentleman and a wonderful attorney for the board for so many years. Our sincerest condolences to Bit and the family. - La Trenda and Bob Jones

Angie Hamil

July 30, 2020

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family. We were so sad to hear of John's passing . May God bless you with peace and comfort during this time.

Dr Teaver, Teresa ,Zoe and Angie

Bill Willey

July 30, 2020

My heart and thoughts are herein extended to the John Taylor Family. John also worked at Camp Kiniya in Milton, Vermont in the early ‘60s and was an officer in “Pete’s Place” along with Pete Nash, Ken Hurt, Randy Roseboro, Greg Tweed, and Bill Willey. A few years ago, this group of fun’ loving summer camp counselors reconvened in Santa Fe, New Mexico for a Pete’s Place Reunion. Just a couple years ago we had another mini-reunion in Duck, North Carolina. Alas, John Taylor, farewell to a mighty good trooper who enjoyed the cool waters of Lake Champlain by wearing his red long-johns! Lovingly submitted by Bill Willey & Peter Nash.

Ted Theus

July 29, 2020

I was deeply saddened to hear of John’s passing. I was adverse to him on a number of legal matters over the years. Without exception, John was always very professional displaying the highest standards of legal ethics while zealously representing his clients. I once had to apologize to him for getting a bit to heated with him in a phone call. John accepted my apology graciously without trying to take advantage of the circumstances. He was a fine lawyer and a true gentleman.

Anita Flowers

July 29, 2020

Mr John I love you and going to missed you. Working for you and ms bit for 10 years you both made me feel like family and for that I thank you and love you .God needed another soldier for his army and boy he picked one of the best..Rest in heaven until we meet again..I'll never forget you


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