Robert Keith Taylor, 83, of Hemet, died Nov. 26, 2010 at home surrounded by his family. Robert, known by many as Bob, and by his family as Keith, was born April 25, 1927 in Marysville Tenn. He moved to Calif. when he was 6 months old with his parents Robert Franklin and Bessie Bailey Taylor. Bob was one of 8 children and is survived by his sisters, Betty Zaiger of Modesto and Marilyn Clawson of Saratoga, CA.
Bob left Ripon High School in 1945, just prior to graduating, and was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was stationed in Paris, France for 18 months which was the start of his life -long love of all things French. Upon returning from duty, he spent 18 months in a sanitarium in San Diego recovering from tuberculosis. After recovering from his illness, Bob continued his education at San Diego State University. He was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity where he cooked for his fraternity brothers in return for his board, and so started another life - long love, the culinary arts.
After graduating with a degree in Romance Languages, Bob began 40 years in education during which time he earned a Masters Degree from the University of Redlands. Bob arrived in Hemet in 1955 where he started his teaching career at Hemet High School. During this time he met Helen Miner during a performance of the Ramona Pageant. They married in 1958 and had two daughters, Leslie and Sarah.
Bob became an active member of the community participating in the Ramona Pageant for 35 years, most notably playing the role of Father Salvadeara. He was a member of the Ramona Hillside Players and participated in Las Posadas productions organized by Mauricio and Hilda Jara. He was also a member of Hemet Jr. Chamber of Commerce, Family Service and American Field Service.
Bob taught French, Spanish and English at Hemet High School, and for many years he traveled to the District’s elementary schools to teach Spanish to 4th graders. In addition to teaching, he was an advisor for the Key Club and student chapter of AFS. Twice a year during this time Bob cooked fund raising dinners for up to three hundred people honoring the exchange students by preparing meals from their home countries.
Bob retired from Hemet Unified School District in 1985 but continued to teach Spanish at Mt. San Jacinto Community college. In addition, he also started teaching cooking classes and donating gourmet dinners to help raise money for various organizations in the community.
Bob loved music, dancing, food, wine, travel, books, movies and was interested in all aspects of life. He traveled to Europe and Mexico on many occasions. He is survived by his wife, Helen, his daughters Leslie Taylor and Sarah Chapman, her husband Jonathan, grandchildren Ashley and Tristan Wettlaufer and Igor and Natasha Chapman and many loving nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his great canine friend, Eiffel. Please remember Bob by making a donation to the charity of your choice, doing something kind, eating some good cheese or by drinking a glass of wine.
A local memorial service will be held on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 4:00 at the Miller-Jones Mortuary in Hemet. An additional service will be held on Saturday, Dec. 11 in Modesto, for his many friends and family in northern California.
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010
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