Eagle Scout. Athlete. Veteran. Professor. Rotarian. War Eagle. Devoted husband, father and grandfather, Dr. Henry L. Taylor (1933-2019) has died. Born in Tallassee, Alabama, he is survived by Mur Taylor, his wife of 62 years, his sons and their spouses: Ken (Phoebe), Greg (Karrie), Barry (Marv), and grandchildren Sally, Minx, Molly, Hudson, Sean and Kane. He was the eldest of five children, Tom (Laura), Patricia, Martha and Naomi.
Dr. Taylor was known as “Hank” to his friends and grandchildren and “King” to the Camp Rockmont community in Black Mountain, North Carolina, where he and Mur have been an integral part since the land was purchased from Black Mountain College in 1955.
Hank was a graduate of Auburn University BS (1956) and MS (1958) and received his Ph.D. at Florida State University (1963). He had two successful careers. First, he served 23 years in the U.S. Air Force and retired as a full Colonel. While in the Air Force, he flew 728 hours of combat in the Vietnam War and received the Distinguished Flying Cross, as well as other medals for combat valor.
After retiring from the Air Force, he had a 21-year civilian career as a Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois. He published over 100 scientific articles, presented 125 papers at conferences worldwide, created the school’s Aviation degree program and helped raise funds to construct a multi-million dollar upgrade of Willard Airport.
In 2001, Hank and Mur retired and relocated full-time to Black Mountain. Upon returning, he helped establish the Camp Rockmont Alumni Association and the Camp Diversity Foundation, to help underprivileged kids go to summer camp.
Hank was a devoted Rotarian, serving as president for local chapters in both Illinois and North Carolina. A generous donor, he was passionate about Rotary’s mission, particularly its focus to eliminate polio.
A memorial will be held in Black Mountain on November 23rd, which would have been Hank and Mur’s 63rd wedding anniversary. The service will begin at 2:00 PM in Eden Hall at Camp Rockmont, 375 Lake Eden Road in Black Mountain. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Hank’s honor to the Camp Diversity Foundation at www.campdiversityfoundation.org/
The family is extremely grateful to the staffs of the Health Center of Highland Farms and the North Carolina State Veterans Home, as well as the communities of Meadowmont 3 and Camp Rockmont for their caring support.