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William (Bill) Taylor

January 2, 1935 – January 21, 2019

Bill, aged 84, was born on January 2, 1935 and was celebrated as the first baby of the new year in Bisbee. He was the third and last child born to Tom and Browne Taylor.

He attended Greenway Elementary School and graduated from Bisbee High School in 1953. In high school, Bill played football, ran track, and was the student body president. After graduation, he attended Arizona State University where he was a member of the Sun Devil track team. While attending ASU, he married his high school sweetheart, Yvonne Featherman. They enjoyed a 63 year marriage together in their hometown of Bisbee which resulted in 6 children, 17 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.

His teaching career began at Lowell School in in 1958 where he taught English and PE and was the assistant track coach at the high school. Soon after, he moved to the high school to teach freshman English and became the head track coach and assistant football coach. During his legendary 14 year head coaching career, Bill won 187 track meets of all types including 10 state championships, 2 state runner-up championships, and 13 division titles. In 1976 he received the Tucson Conquistador Special Recognition Award, and in 1983 he was inducted into the Arizona Track Coaches Hall of Fame. He was honored with the ultimate coaching award when he was inducted into the Arizona Coaches Hall of Fame in 2002. He left coaching and teaching to become an administrator at Lowell School until his retirement in 1989.

After his retirement Bill stayed active in Bisbee’s educational community serving on the Bisbee School Board. He also worked closely with Cochise College and the Bisbee Kiwanis Club to provide scholarships for Bisbee area students. Because of his dedication to the community and achievements in Kiwanis which included the construction of the hospital helipad and the instillation of the Warren Ballpark lights, in 2005 he received the Kachina Award, the highest award given by the Kiwanis Foundation Southwest District. He also loved to play the piano and performed all over Arizona in nightclubs, Elks dances, community events, and funerals. He performed with Waylon Jennings and Joe Diffy when their tours stopped in Phoenix. He also loved to play golf, go hunting and fishing, and was a skilled do-it-yourselfer. His main love was for his family. Anytime anyone needed anything from babysitting, an extra hand for construction or even providing a lift somewhere, he was there to help.

Despite the fact that he was offered many other high school and college positions throughout his career, he considered Bisbee his home and dedicated his life to his community and the people who live there.

He was preceded in death by his parents Tom and Browne, his brothers Thomas and James, and his son John. He is survived by his loving wife Yvonne, 5 children (Wiliam, Elizabeth, Matthew, Beverly, and Molly), 17 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 2 at the Bisbee High School auditorium at 1 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Taylor Family Scholarship Fund at Cochise College, 4190 W. Highway 80, Douglas, AZ 85607-6190.