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May 23, 2019

4/3/2019 4:42:00 PM

Kenneth Ray Taylor, 71, gained his wings on March 18, 2019, when he passed of natural causes at home. He was born in Ellensburg, WA to Kenneth R. Taylor and Bettie (Reed) Taylor on December 2, 1947. After moving back to Skagit Valley, Ken attended Mount Vernon schools, participated in HS wrestling and band, and graduated in 1966. He attended SVC, began his career in precast concrete, loved duck hunting on the flats and played bass guitar and sang backup in several local rock bands; LITTLE DICKIE AND THE DELEGATES, THE UNDERTAKERS, and THE LOTTERY throughout the 60s.
In 1970, Ken married his high school sweetheart Janice Gibbons on July 17th. Early in the marriage, she spent many years supporting his love for outboard hydro racing with the Whidbey Roostertails in Oak Harbor. He was racing and she was behind the megaphone.
In the mid-70s, daughter Michelle (Shelley) joined the family, followed by Josh two years later. Powerboating in the San Juans became Ken’s passion as the family grew. Many happy years were spent on the water in the High Roller, Longshot, and the Class Act. Deep friendships grew out on the water with the Egelston, Racicky, Olson, Souza, Huizenga and Monrad families, to name a few.
In the 1980s, when Ken had risen to precast manager for Concrete Nor’West, Jan finally convinced him to travel abroad. Over the years they enjoyed many trips to England visiting new found friends, Tony and Shirley Hill of Nottingham. Beyond England, they traveled to China, the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Panama Canal and Mexico on cruises. In later years, they traveled by car to Arizona, California, Nevada and visited the National Parks.
In the 90’s with the kids out of the house, Ken began working on a 23 T roadster. He claimed to have owned over 17 individual cars in his life; some were classics and others were daily drivers. He loved to attend car shows, especially when he had one to show. Ken also began to tinker with RC boats. He was a proud National Record Holder for a couple of years.
In 2000, Ken and Jan downsized and moved to La Conner. Ken began building a small runabout to use on the Swinomish Slough and began his love for RC airplanes. He loved creating toys for himself. However, in 2004 a back injury forced his retirement as precast manager for Cascade Concrete, but he had another job waiting. Ken was an incredible positive force in nursing Jan through three separate cancers within 10 years. His compassion and love played a key role in her recoveries.
When his physical limitations “got in the way,” he was unable to participate in his beloved hobbies any longer. Jan became his full-time caregiver in 2014, when Ken was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and dementia. Ken’s multiple health issues contributed to his passing.
Ken was well known as a great storyteller, master of quick wit, punster extraordinaire, trickster, jokester and a man who loved to sing harmony with anyone who could play guitar. He will be greatly missed.
Ken is survived by his wife Jan of 48 years; daughter Shelley (Charlie) Link; son Josh (Randa) Taylor; sister Pam (Terry) Conover; sister Val (Bill Segesser) Taylor; mother-in-law Lola Gibbons; brother-in-law Jim (Barbara) Gibbons; sister-in-law Jeannie (Keith) Swanson; grandchildren Wyatt and Ally; nephews Jason, Sean, Jake, Dusty; nieces Tara and Sylvie.
He was preceded in death by his parents Kenneth and Bettie Taylor, stepfather Clarence Yoder, father-in-law Russ Gibbons, sister-in-law JoAnn Olsen, niece Amanda Conover; nephew Donnie Taylor.
An informal Celebration of Life will be held at Shelter Bay Clubhouse in La Conner, WA on Saturday, April 20, 2019, at 1 p.m. Bring a memory to share; the funnier, the better.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Skagit Adult Day Program (Gentry House), 116 N. Skagit Street, Burlington WA 98233. Ken was a part of their loving family.

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