From Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home. May 21, 2018. SHELBY, NC — James Brock “Jim” Taylor Jr., age 98, died Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Shelby, NC. Jim was born April 6, 1920 in Asheville, NC. He was the son of the late James Brock Taylor and Alice Thurston Pender Taylor.
At the young age of two, Jim lost his Dad. At seven years old his mother married the late Judge Edwin Yates Webb and moved to Shelby from Tarboro, NC. He attended Shelby public schools and went to N.C. State College where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Fraternity.
Next in Jim’s life came World War II. In 1942 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and achieved the rank of Technical Sergeant. He served in the intelligence division of the 83rd Infantry Division Headquarters where he had the opportunity of watching and listening to General George Patton map strategy. He saw service in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and landed in Normandy. After being wounded in Luxembourg, he spent 13 months in Army hospitals. Later in life, he was awarded The French Legion of Honor Medal. After being discharged, he returned to continue his education at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Go Heels!
In 1947 he started his business career with J.P. Stevens Co. in Stanley; returning to Shelby with the Dover Mill in 1950. In 1956 he began his career with Royster Transport Company.
Jim was a member of Shelby Presbyterian Church. He served as teacher, Sunday School Superintendent, Deacon and Ruling Elder. He was also a Mason and a Shriner, former member of the Parks and Recreation Commission and former President of the Rotary Club and was honored to receive the Paul Harris Award. He was past President of the following: Cleveland County Cancer Society, Cleveland County Mental Health Association, Cleveland County Boys and Girls Club and served on Piedmont Boy Scout Council. He served as Director and President of the Shelby Chamber of Commerce twice, Jim said, “If he had done the job right the 1st time; he wouldn’t have had to do it over again!” He was a member of the delegation to Portland, OR when Shelby was named an “All American City”. Jim was named “Citizen of the Year” in 1972 by the Shelby Lions Club. He was a member, a director, and President of North Lake Club, in addition, he belonged to Cleveland Country Club, and Blowing Rock Country Club where he served as a director for both clubs. Other social interest included the Charlotte City Club. Jim and Anne were founding members of the Cotillion Club of Shelby, where he was well known to be a popular dancer.
Jim served 16 years as Chairman of Shelby Planning and Zoning Board. He served on the Board of Trustees for Cleveland Memorial Hospital; Board of Trustees, Lees McRae College; and President of the Cleveland Historical Association as well as being the Vice President of Royster Transport Company.
Shelby was fortunate to have a clever toastmaster. He was Shelby’s own “Bob Hope”. Jim was sought after by many organizations for his witty commentary.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years Elizabeth Royster Taylor, his sister Lille Weathers, and her two sons, Henry Jr. and Jim Weathers.
Jim is survived by a son, James “Brock” Taylor III and wife Sally of Shelby; three daughters, Elizabeth “Betsy” Taylor Knauf and husband Tom of Salisbury, Alice Taylor Harrill and husband Keith of Bostic, and Margaret Taylor Kendrick and husband Steve of Marietta Ga.; seven grandchildren, John Taylor Knauf and wife Maribeth, Anne Kathleen Knauf, Murphy Anne Taylor, James Brock “Jake” Taylor IV, Riley Staton Taylor, James Andrew Kendrick, and Lauren Elizabeth Kendrick; two great grandchildren, Lily Anne Knauf and Joseph Taylor Knauf; one great nephew Tripp Weathers, great nieces Anney Weathers and Lucy Weathers, and his many Pender cousins.
The family will receive friends Thursday, May 24, 2018 at Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home and Crematory from 5 pm until 7 pm. Funeral service will be held 11 am Friday, May 25, 2018, at Shelby Presbyterian with Dr. Luke Harkey officiating. Burial with military honors will follow the service in Sunset Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to: Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland County, PO Box 2001, Shelby, NC 28151, or Shelby Presbyterian Church, 226 E. Graham Street, Shelby, NC 28150.