Bayless Taylor Jr.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

DUDLEY, Mo. -- Bayless Earnest "Sonny" Taylor Jr., of Dudley was born Oct. 15, 1928, in Jacksonville, Ark. and passed away peacefully, Jan. 6, 2009, at the Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center, at the age of 80.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Bayless and Alma Taylor, and two brothers, Rudy and Eugene.

He married the former Mary Ellen Green of Malden, Mo., on June 12, 1948, who survives of the home.

He was a loving father to his four children, Debby and John Worley, Bayless Lee and Vicki Taylor, Marilyn Taylor Williams and Cheryl Taylor Edwards. He is also survived by six grandchildren, John Bayless Taylor, Shannon Taylor Cochran, Richard Williams, Roy Lynn Williams, Ben Worley and Marianna Lane; and three great-grandchildren, Baylee Taylor, Rylee Taylor and Emma Kate Worley.

He is also survived by three special family members, Leroy Green, Phyllis Edwards of Dexter, Mo., and Ruth Day of Flint, Mich.

A veteran of the World War II, Bayless was an active member and trustee of the Liberty Hill General Baptist Church in Aid, Mo., and was an avid supporter of Camp Allen Church Camp in Greenville, Mo. Beyond his family and church, Bayless' life was devoted to the agribusiness field. In 1938 he and his father brought innovative rice farming to Southeast Missouri from their home state of Arkansas. He was a board member of Southeast Cooperative in its formative years and instrumental in securing the Dudley Grain Elevator for local farmers. His life's devotion was creating Taylor Fish Farms, from which he started the local Fish restaurants, Fiddlers, Fisherman's Net at Sikeston, Mo., and Lake Wappapello, Mo.

Friends may call from 1 until 3 p.m. Thursday at Rainey-Mathis Funeral Home in Dexter.

Funeral services will then be conducted at 3 p.m. Thursday at the funeral chapel, with the Rev. Phil Warren and the Rev. Scott Sifford officiating. Interment will be in Dexter Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family has established the Bayless Taylor Jr. Memorial Agricultural Scholarship Fund. Checks may be sent to the Taylor Scholarship c/o Edward Jones, P.O. Box 35, Dexter, Mo., 63841.