OBITUARY

Alfred W. Taylor

October 8, 1935June 14, 2021

Alfred William Taylor, 85 years of age, passed away June 14, 2021 peacefully in his home. He is survived by Paula Kendall Taylor, devoted wife of 63 years; his children Pam Smith (Eugene Smith) of Little Rock, Arkansas, Debi Rye (John Rye) of Lebanon, Ohio, Alfred Paul Taylor (Kassie Taylor) of Carbondale, Illinois and sister Katheryn Wilson; his pride and joy, ten grandchildren, Jennie Shelburne, Sara Welty, Matthew Crall, Elise Rye, Kendall Parsons, Grace Evans, Alfred Braden Taylor, John Rye IV, Jeremiah Smith and Blake Taylor; five great-grandchildren, Lucy, Ellie, Audrey, Jameson and Rylan; predeceased by sisters Hazel Spitze and Gladys Price.

Al was born on October 8, 1935, in DeQueen Arkansas, to Alfred Watson Taylor and Manila Suggs Taylor, in a house his family built. He was the youngest of four children, with three older sisters. Before his second birthday, his parents decided to move to Fayetteville so their children could all go to the University. With only a few dollars and no place to live, they packed their old Chevrolet with clothes, bedding, food, and an oil stove. Upon arriving in Fayetteville, they found a house to stay in for a month if they agreed to clean it up and maintain the yard. Just in time for the start of the school year, the family found a better house to rent and sent for their furniture and cow to be transported in a flat truck. Being the youngest child, Al got tired of family members spelling whenever they didn’t want him to know what they were saying. One day he proudly announced, “HRND… it might spell watermelon or it might not.” This was a favorite story shared lovingly by his siblings for decades.

Al’s exceptional work ethic began at age eight, waking up early, and tirelessly throwing papers on his paper route. At fifteen years of age, he quit his paper route and began sacking groceries at the local grocery store for 25 cents an hour. After a short time, he was promoted to cashier, increasing his salary to 75 cents an hour. He saved every penny to help his sisters with their college tuition and in turn they paid back the debt. As a result of their loyalty, all four children received their degrees at the University of Arkansas.

He loved all genres of music and began playing the violin at age twelve. He was Concertmaster of the Fayetteville Youth Symphony Orchestra as well as 2nd chair violin in the University of Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. He also played basketball at Fayetteville High School. His mother wouldn’t let him play football citing it was too dangerous for such a lanky boy. He loved playing basketball but never gave up playing the violin. During high school basketball practice he would bring his violin. We are unsure if he ever played for his teammates but quite confident he was the only player with a violin in tow.

With math being Al’s favorite subject in school, it’s no wonder he became an engineer. He attended the University of Arkansas from 1954-1958 and completed his B.S. in Industrial Engineering. His thirst for knowledge led him to receive his Masters in the same field ten years later. Al excelled in the University environment and was anything but idle. Among his college accolades, he served as president of the U of A Chapter of Industrial Engineers and was a member of Blue Key, Alpha Phi Mu and Tau Beta Pi. Al began his career in industrial engineering in Greensboro, North Carolina at Western Electric, taking a short leave to serve as 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Later, he joined Dierks Forrest in DeQueen, Arkansas, where he was plant engineer for three years. In 1964, he began working at the Little Rock plant of Teletype (later AT&T) where he remained until his retirement.

Al was a pillar of his community. He coached at the North Little Rock Boys Club for thirteen plus years and is lovingly known by many as “Coach Taylor”. He also served as president of the DeQueen Jaycees, president of Lakewood Owners Association, and various positions on the Administrative Board at Lakewood United Methodist Church including video coordinator. In 1988, he was selected as a member of the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineering (AAIE) and served as president of the chapter. Later he and Paula supported the scholarship program for Industrial Engineering students at the University of Arkansas given through AAIE.

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Services

  • Visitation

    Friday, June 18, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Friday, June 18, 2021

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Memories

Alfred W. Taylor

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Jim & Pat Rush

June 25, 2021

Dear Paula,
Pat and I just learned of Al passing away through Shirley Miller and the Teletype Pioneers email messages. We are so very sorry for you and all of your family, who are in our thoughts and prayers.
Al and I worked together in various Teletype / AT&T organizations in Little Rock from 1967 until 1992, when I was transferred to Sandia Labs in Albuquerque, N.M. Al was always so professional; and he was always a real gentleman, even at work. Pat and I also have very fond memories of you and Al from Lakewood Methodist Church and you being associated with the North Little Rock Junior League.
I very much remember when Al was working on his Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering in 1968, which was quite impressive. Another fond memory involved Al volunteering to make a presentation to the students at Metropolitan High School, which was just across the street from the factory. Of course, Al did a great job, which was noted in the school's newspaper named "The Wolf Call." The last time that I had an opportunity to visit with Al was in 2008, when he reminded me of that episode because I had obtained several copies of the newspaper, which was distributed around the factory. As I was being transferred from AT&T to Sandia Labs, Al continued being a key team player in the Quality Organization, which was much appreciated.
I have many wonderful memories of working with Al; and Pat has fond memories of being associated with you at church and the Junior League. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.
Jim & Pat Rush

Lynda Weir

June 18, 2021

I always will remember how involved your Dad (and Mom) were when we were cheering for Lakewood and Northeast HS. His children are wonderful reflections of the good man he was and raised them to be. My deepest sympathy to the entire family.

Kendall (Taylor) Parsons

June 18, 2021

There is a lot I’ve learned from Big Al over the years. Some serious and some not. Big Al taught me how to call the hogs with pride. He taught me how to joke, even when most of his jokes were dad jokes. He took me to the gym to teach me the correct way to be a post player and would beat me in horse and in scrimmage every time.

He taught me the importance of saving money and budgeting that was passed onto my dad and onto me.

He taught me how to love my husband well as I learned from his interactions with Mimi especially as Mimi got sick. He was always so eager to learn how to love his wife better and learn to adapt to whatever she needed.

I am most thankful and blessed to have spent his last weekend with him before he was diagnosed. We had so much fun playing corn hole by the RV and he was so happy to have beat Mimi.

Big Al, thanks for your wisdom and for showing me what it means to love your spouse well.

Jeremiah Smith

June 18, 2021

The Legacy of a Quiet Man

What words to use for one who sparingly spake?
What words indeed can capture the wonderful wit?
What words are proper when emotions awake?
What words said would come near to fit?

What words are able to describe his punctuality?
What words keep in us his ethic for work?
What words can speak to his undoubted fealty?
What words allow us to resee his small smirk?

What words harness his desire to teach?
What words help us recall his calm being?
What words can unveil his outreach?
What words can keep him from leaving?

What words to reveal what he did for me?
What words of thanks drive deep enough?
What words so that in my mind I can see?
What words make the pain less rough?

What words for one eager to serve and give?
What words for the family that he built?
What words for one who knew how to live?
What words for a man with a joke at his hilt?

What words, what words, so many at the mind.
What words to think are not hard to find.
Not too many can be spoken aloud.
How about these: well done; I’m proud

Kassie Taylor

June 17, 2021

For the past 30 years I have had the honor and privilege to call Al Taylor my father-in-law. I could not have asked for a better man to fill this role. Big Al, known lovingly by his grandkids, was a man of faith. He lived what he preached. Living by example, he was a role model to us all. I will remember many things about Big Al, but these are the top three.
1. Big Al lived and breathed for his family. Pam, Debi, and Tiger are evidence of this dedication. Through their lives, he supported the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, and never, not once, did he waiver in his dedication to put family first! As they were married and had children, his family grew to include ten grandchildren. Regardless the distance, if there was something important going on in the lives of the grandkids, he would be there to support them.
2. Big Al loved his technology, especially his surround sound theatre system. There were many evenings spent watching movies with the volume on very loud. Mimi (Paula) would always tell him it was too loud and to turn it down. But, he would just laugh and grin while telling her that was why he purchased the surround sound speakers. He also loved playing his classical music especially on Christmas and Thanksgiving mornings. And because he purchased a multi disc player he had enough music to play for at least six hours straight.
3. Al was a loyal razorback fan! He followed the team through thick and thin. Football, basketball, and baseball were his favorites. He shared this love with his grandkids. Each have fond memories of attending games with Big Al and sitting in the very same section, right next to the away team, at War Memorial Stadium. He was a very loyal fan. Regardless if the Hogs won or lost, Big Al never left a game early. He taught us all to stick it out to the very end and to love the Hogs no matter what.

We love you Big Al and will forever carry you in our hearts, especially when calling the Hogs!

Vance Clement

June 17, 2021

I grew up with Al's kids, mainly Tiger Taylor. As a teenager, I joined a 3-on-3 basketball league at the church. Al was one of the older players, but he could really shoot the ball. I really enjoyed playing with him and against him, and I he was always very kind. Fast forward a few years, and I also became an industrial engineer, member of the AAIE, and president of the AAIE. He and I had a lot in common. I will miss him. My condolences to the family. Vance

Nancy DiPaolo

June 17, 2021

Tiger,
Thinking of you and Kassie and the family and sending strength. Your dad was such a wonderful person and you two shared a special love. I know you're hurting and beyond sad, but I hope memories of times together and shared love will help ease the pain.
Nancy

Rick Wilson

June 17, 2021

Here is a wish for the day to arrive when the sense of loss and sorrow is replaced with all the loving memories of a life well lived.
I always looked forward to the summer vacations that included a visit to uncle Al, aunt Paula, and cousins Pam, Debbie, and Tiger.

Grace Evans

June 17, 2021

(continued)

I’ll see you in “U-Turns” because you “Don’t do them”.
I’ll see you in jackets, because you would always lose yours on trips and temporarily tell Mimi you gave it to someone in need. I will never forget your two sizes too small and too thin Walmart sweater replacement.
I’ll see you in a coke bottle, always finishing every drop because wasting something was not an option.
I’ll see you in Dairy Queen. Your selflessness would never allow you to take sides when picking restaurants, you would just shout “Dairy Queen” as your Switzerland statement.
Everything I would do you were standing by my side and now I’m going to remember you for a lifetime.
I’ll see you in drawers, because once you jokingly said I might have to sleep in one on vacation.
I’ll see you every time I back out in a car. Safety was your middle name, and all children must always be on the porch when a car was moving.
I’ll see you every time I accomplish something educational, hearing you say, “We’re real proud of you”.
I’ll see you every time I hear our song, the one you brought into my life to always cheer me up: “Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day, I have a wonderful feeling, everything’s going my way”.
Everything I would do you were standing by my side and now I’m going to remember you for a lifetime.
You lived to care for others and make them laugh. You valued working hard for what you have, always saving and never wasting a thing. As we part ways, I promise to take these things with me, seeing you again and again; because everything I would do you were standing by my side and now, I’m going to remember you for a lifetime. I love you.

Grace Evans

June 17, 2021

When I see you Again
As we part ways I promise to see you again.
I’ll see you when I bring home my child from the hospital because you were my first home.
I’ll see you in Disney land because your love and patience allowed you to ride with me on the teacups and dumbo rides again and again and again.
I’ll see you as I teach my children to play dominos because you taught me.
I’ll see you in Zebras because one kissed you on the cheek on a family trip and then we all got the flu—forever to be known as the “Zebra Flu”.
Everything I would do you were standing by my side and now I’m going to remember you for a lifetime.
I’ll see you when I call the Hogs because you taught me in this family, we pledge our allegiance to the Razorbacks.
I’ll see you in a bath towel rod because I knocked out a tooth trying to climb on one at your house.
I’ll see you in Dixie Café and Cranium because that was what we did when you cared for us on my parent’s date night.
I’ll see you anytime I try a new activity because you came to all of mine—Gymnastics, Piano and Swim.
Everything I would do you were standing by my side and now I’m going to remember you for a lifetime.
I’ll see you in fireworks because we used to pick them out together and set them off at your house on the fourth of July.
I’ll see you in jokes and puns because you always had one to tell at family gatherings.
I’ll see you on easter, always one away from you on your left. You hid eggs for us to find. I’ll always remember the glitter glue spelling out our names on our “special egg”.
I’ll see you in prayer always leading the family in a circle prayer around the kitchen island before meals and teaching us to pray: “God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food. Amen”.
Everything I would do you were standing by my side and now I’m going to remember you for a lifetime.

(continued)

FROM THE FAMILY