The following is the published obituary for my father, a 1947 graduate of Cimarron High School:
THOMAS C .
THOMAS C . TAYLOR , 70, passed away Monday, October 11, 1999 in Houston after a brave battle with cancer. Mr. Taylor retired from the USAF after 22 years of dedicated service with the rank of major. He is survived by his wife of 19 years Margaret Lacy Taylor of Spring, daughter: Lynn, son: Steve, grandsons: Charles and Christopher, brother: Robert. Visitation Thursday, October 14, 1999 with the family between the hours of 6:00 and 8:00 P.M. Funeral Services 12:30 P.M. Friday, October 15, 1999 at Houston National Cemetery Chapel at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive. Interment to follow.
Major Thomas C. Taylor (Ret. USAF), 70, passed away on October 11, 1999. Born August 7, 1929 in Kingman, Kansas to Hazel and Omer ("O.C.") Taylor, he grew up in Southwest Kansas and graduated from Cimarron High School in 1947 where he lettered in football, basketball and track. Upon graduation, Tom entered Wichita State University on a football scholarship. After suffering a football career ending knee injury, Tom left WSU and entered the United States Air Force in 1950. On December 28, 1952, he married Donna Jean Baker. During the ensuing 22 years as an Air Force Officer, Tom was stationed in San Antonio, Texas, Albany, Georgia, Bangor and Brewer (Dow Air Force Base), Maine, Omaha (Offutt Air Force Base), Nebraska, Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico, Atwater (Castle Air Force Base), California, Blytheville Air Force Base, Arkansas, Columbus (Lockbourne Air Force Base), Ohio, and Wichita (McConnell Air Force Base), Kansas. Tom served three tours of duty in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War and numerous temporary duty assignments including Europe, Japan, Labrador, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Venezuela and Panama. During his service, he met Bob Hope, Ginger Rogers, and Hedda Hopper on a USO tour in Alaska in Christmas 1956. He served with Francis Gary Powers at Turner Air Force Base, where Tom worked on the feasibility studies and planning for the U2 program. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Tom ferried slide photographs of the Cuban missile buildup from Ramey to Andrews Air Force Base. Throughout his career, Tom returned to Cimarron to assist his father during harvests or planting until O.C.'s retirement from farming. In August 1972, Tom retired from the Air Force and moved to Houston, Texas. Tom enjoyed fishing, travel, and crossword puzzles. He was well known as an able joke teller, with an incredible ability of recall. His greatest pride and joy were in his children and grandsons. Tom and Donna were divorced in 1979 and Tom remarried in 1980 to Margaret LaFaver. Tom is survived by his children, Lynn and Steve, his grandsons, Charles and Christopher, his brother, Robert, three nieces, Tammy, Carolyn, and Pam, and his widow.