John Franklin Taylor Obituary – The Arizona Republic

John Franklin Taylor lived a life of Christlike discipleship and leaves a legacy of love and service to others. He humbly and meekly inspired hundreds of people to overcome adversity, seek new beginnings, and seek the joys of everyday life. Born in Pinedale, Arizona on April 4, 1930, at the height of the Great Depression, John was the second of seven children born to Maurice and Rosabel Taylor. The family lived wherever Maurice could find employment, but Heber was John’s “home” and where he worked in his youth at the local sawmill. A pretty girl named Evelyn Flake sat across from him in English class at Snowflake High School. John was teasing her by the hair. Little did he know that she would become the most influential person in his life and his eternal darling. John served a church mission in the southeastern United States, then joined the Air Force and became an air traffic controller. More than once, he was credited with saving the lives of aircrew whose planes froze as he guided them to a safe landing. During a brief leave and after three years of separation, John visited Evelyn on Christmas Day 1952 and convinced her to marry him two days later at the Mesa Temple in Arizona. They were stationed in Mississippi in the summer and Montana in the winter. After his military service, John attended Arizona State University (the first in his family to attend college) and later graduated from the University of Arizona School of Law. They returned to Snowflake, where John established a private law practice. The only problem was that Evelyn was tied to half the town and John was mostly doing pro bono work. This issue was resolved when John ran for election as Navajo County District Attorney and won. He was an advocate of the rule of law and had great respect for the justice system. But he was also a man who believed in second chances. As a judge of the Superior Court, John was renowned for his wisdom and fairness on the bench. After passing sentence on a convicted felon, he would often address that individual and encourage him to seek a better life. His understanding of the need for both justice and mercy deepened John’s testimony of the Savior’s Atonement, which offers each of us a second chance at eternal life. Soon after returning to Snowflake, John and Evelyn began building a home, orchard and gardens that would be their “Garden of Eden” for over 50 years. They had five children: Lynn (Phil Johnson), Steven (Kelly), Jonae (Doc Wise), Nathan (J Whitmer) and Lynae (Tom Erb). Leticia and Christina Garcia from Mexico City also lived in their home during their high school years. John’s 10 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren consider “Grandpa Taylor” a lifelong mentor and friend. John was called at a young age to serve as a bishop in his church, and at age 35 as a young stake president. When asked to serve as president of the Vancouver Canada Mission, he did not hesitate to make the necessary sacrifices: resign as a judge and uproot his family for the three-year commitment. John and Evelyn loved their missionaries and were thrilled to see their personal growth in the gospel. In turn, their more than 300 missionaries felt individually inspired and loved by President and Sister Taylor. However, he often joked that his favorite job in the church was scoutmaster, which he did three times in his life. After their assignment in Vancouver, John worked as a public defender until he was reappointed by the Governor to the Navajo Superior Court. He was later appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals, which required them to spend weekdays in Phoenix and weekends in Snowflake. After John retired, they served a family history mission at the Laie Hawaii Temple, and he also served as patriarch in the Snowflake Stake. Many of these recorded blessings gave guidance and hope to other church members. John and Evelyn cultivated lifelong friendships and did many activities with other couples. They loved to travel to other continents and learn about peoples and customs. Both were also active in the community and served on numerous boards and charities. John was tender with his wife, “Eve”, and a classic gentleman. Friends complained that he “made them look bad” because he always went the extra mile to open the car door for his wife. This tenderness was very evident in the months leading up to Evelyn’s passing as he lovingly attended to her needs. Losing his mate was his biggest challenge, but he told his posterity, “How can I not be grateful for the many years we’ve been together.” As her eyesight declined and her body declined, that same positivity inspired others facing physical or emotional challenges. During the last week of his life, many of those whom John served or mentored came to bid farewell. They may have intended to comfort him, but they came away elated by his courage and hope in the midst of great suffering. John passed away at home, surrounded by his daughters, on October 12, 2022. The family would like to express their gratitude to the many friends, family members and caregivers who have served John with love since Evelyn’s passing. We know that the heavens have witnessed a sweet reunion and we know that our Savior has welcomed his faithful disciple into his home. Public visitation will be held Friday, October 21, 2022 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30 to 10:40 a.m. at the Main Street Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 48 North Main Street in Snowflake, Arizona. The funeral will begin at 11 a.m., Saturday, October 22, 2022, at the same location. The final funeral service will follow immediately at Snowflake Cemetery located at 390 South 4th Street West in Snowflake. For those unable to attend in person, a live broadcast will be available at JohnTaylorFuneral.com Please visit www.owenslivingstonmortuary to send your condolences.

Posted on October 14, 2022

Posted in The Arizona Republic

service information

Visitation

Main Street Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 48 North Main Street in Snowflake, Arizona

October 21, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Visitation

Main Street Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 48 North Main Street in Snowflake, Arizona

October 22, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

funeral service

Main Street Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 48 North Main Street in Snowflake, Arizona

October 22, 2022 at 11:00