Joseph B. Taylor, 92, passed away at his home in Orono on March 19, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Forest Hills, N.Y., on April 21, 1927, the son of William Dee Taylor and Gladys (Bacon) Taylor. The family soon moved to Oakland and then to Bangor, where Joe spent much of his youth involved with activities at the Bangor YMCA. Joe passed his passion for the Y onto both of his children. He graduated from Bangor High School in 1945, and then immediately enlisted in the United States Navy and served as a petty officer aboard the battleships South Dakota and the North Carolina. Upon returning to Maine, he attended the University of Maine and graduated in 1950 with a degree in civil engineering. After working in Boston for a short time, he worked in Greenland for two years. Upon his return to the States, he entered MIT, graduating in 1956 with a master’s degree.
Also in 1956, he married Emily Warren Taylor, and together created his most precious legacy, a family. They welcomed a daughter, Prudence, in 1957 and a son, Theodore, in 1959. The family lived in Westford, Mass., for six years and then moved to Bangor in 1963, where Joe was general manager of the Bangor Water District for 12 years. While in Bangor, he also served on, and held leadership roles in, a variety of civic organizations, including the YMCA, the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary and the United Way. In 1975, the family moved to Cumberland, where he was general manager of the Portland Water and Sewer District. Upon retirement in 1992, he was elected to the State Legislature as the representative from Cumberland and North Yarmouth. He served in that position for six years. In 2003, Joe and Emily moved to Ellsworth, where Emily had been called as the pastor of the Union Congregational Church of Ellsworth Falls. Upon Emily’s retirement, they moved to Orono, where they have lived for over seven years.
Joe was predeceased by his parents, his brother William and his sister Carol. He is survived by his wife, Emily, his daughter Prudence, his son Ted and wife, Lisa, his grandchildren Ken Wicks, Taylor Wicks, Meredith Wicks and Cameron Taylor and great-granddaughter Flynn Taylor. Joe’s greatest joy was his family and together they enjoyed a variety of activities from skiing to hiking and particularly all the activities that spending summers on Lake Lucerne can offer. The cottage on Beaver Island was literally the camp that Joe built.
Because of the current pandemic, a celebration of his life will be scheduled for a later date. Gifts in his memory may be made to the Bangor YMCA, 17 2nd Street, Bangor, ME 04401. Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com.