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Thomas Russell “Rusty” Taylor went home to be with Jesus on March 27, 2023,surrounded by his wife and children, after a life filled with faith, love, adventures, and laughter.
My Life: A Short Story by Thomas Russell “Rusty” Taylor.
I, Thomas Russell Taylor was born in Hayes, Kansas on May 9, 1942, the sole surviving son of Thomas Russell Taylor and Edith Luella (Doane) Merriman Taylor Buttermore. My father was killed on the aircraft carrier Saratoga, just off the coast of Guam, on January 11, 1942 during World War II. I was raised on a farm near Woodston, Kansas by my mother, Grandpa Doane, Granddad Taylor and Uncle William (Bill) Taylor, along with my two half-brothers, Farrell and Darrell Merriman. My elementary school years included school in a one-room school in Kansas, where I rode a horse to and from school. According to my children and grandchildren, that was “up-hill both ways”. In my late Elementary years, my mother married John D. Buttermore, and during these and my Junior-High School years, we moved a lot. One year I attended seven different schools! For High School, I boarded and attended Friends Haviland Academy, graduating in l960. After graduating, I moved to Nampa, Idaho to attend Northwest Nazarene College, graduating in 1964 with a B.A. in Biological Sciences. I also earned my Masters in Teaching from NNC in 1974. It was during my studies at NNC that I met the love of my life, Mary Linda Hampton. We were married on June 22, 1963 in a double wedding ceremony with Linda's sister, Sharon and Ken Loen. Sharon and Linda were daughters of Rev. Harold and Gladys Hampton. During the time I spent at NNC I also made several life-long friends that include Dr. Leon Powers (dec.) and Fred Hill. Leon, Fred and I participated in bird watching together for sixty years. After graduating from NNC, Linda and I moved to San Jose, California where we lived for twelve years as I started my career in education, and we increased our family. Our firstborn were twin girls, Christine Yvette Taylor Daniels and Cynthia Renee Taylor. Four years later we added Nicole Marie Taylor Grigsby to complete our Taylor family. In 1976 we made our final move back to Nampa, Idaho and lived here since that time. Our Taylor family is still living within five miles of each other. Even all six of our grandchildren live within the Treasure Valley. Our grandchildren include, Amanda Lynn Daniels, Bidwell and Jackson Bidwell, Kenna Marie Daniels Johnson and Corey Johnson, Jeffrey Taylor Wheadon and Maddie Thompson Wheadon, Joshua Robert Wheadon, Madigan Elise Grigsby, and Dean Russell Grigsby. In March of 2017, Linda and I became Great-Grandparents. To date, we have 3 Great Granddaughters, Brielle, Blair, and Brooklyn, and one Great Grandson, Koda, all beautiful children of Kenna and Corey Johnson. My teaching career in secondary sciences lasted for forty years until my retirement in 2004. For twenty years, while teaching at Nampa High School, I was involved with a Science Club that backpacked and cross-country skied, which made the great outdoors our classroom. This Science Club was one of the reasons I was awarded the 1981 'Outstanding Biology Teacher Award' for the state of Idaho. I also sat on the bench keeping score or keeping the time for hundreds of volleyball and basketball games, and announced football games for many seasons. When Skyview opened, I transferred there for a change of pace, and was named Skyview Teacher of the Year in 2000. My interest in the sport of tennis allowed me to play varsity collegiate tennis and become the head tennis coach at Nampa High School and Northwest Nazarene College, for a total of twenty-four years. It was during my High School coaching years at Nampa High that our team won the Idaho A-1 State Tennis Championship, and I earned the Idaho Tennis Coach of the Year Award. My hobbies have included bird watching, golf, photography and travel, among others. My wife and I have traveled throughout the USA and to the following countries: Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, the Bahamas, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, and Africa. We also enjoyed four different cruise adventures. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and give Him the credit for directing all of my life's many and varied decisions. I have served Him within the Church of the Nazarene through corporate worship, tithes and offerings, and as an usher, greeter, Sunday School Teacher, Church Board Member, Church Board Secretary, and Sunday School Superintendent. Linda and I have also been on Work and Witness trips to Australia and Rwanda through our local church. Who knew what the Lord could do with a shy farm boy from Kansas. Praise be to God! Now, on to my next adventure!! God is good. It is Well. Rusty was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas R. and Edith Taylor (Buttermore), John Buttermore, parents-in-law, Rev. Harold and Gladys Hampton; brothers, Darrell and Farrell Merriman, many aunts, uncles, cousins, and his lifelong friend, Dr. Leon Powers. He is survived by his wife, Linda, his daughters and spouses, Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren, his brothers and sisters-in-law, Sharon Loen (Ken), Bud Hampton (Sue), Jerry Hampton (Theresa), Donna Merriman, Glenda Merriman, cousin, Clayton Bonar (Helen), and numerous other family members.
The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to Northwest Nazarene University Rusty Taylor Tennis Scholarship, 623 So. University Blvd., Nampa 83686 or to First Church of the Nazarene Care House Food Bank, 601 16th Ave. So. Nampa, ID 83651.