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 Charles Alvin Taylor

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Charles Alvin Taylor

Birth
Georgia, USA
Death
18 Jan 2013 (aged 93)
Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida, USA
Burial
DeFuniak Springs, Walton County, Florida, USA
Memorial ID
92705952 View Source

Charles A. Taylor, age 93, of Pensacola, Florida, died on January 18, 2013, following a brief illness.

Charles was born April 28, 1919, in Jefferson, Georgia. He was the third of five children of Edwin Howell Taylor, Sr. and Meda Appleby Taylor. The family moved often in his early years, spending time in the Carolinas and various cities in northwestern Florida before finally settling in DeFuniak Springs, where Charles completed high school. Although he often told stories of walking barefoot through the snow to school, he was perhaps stretching the truth - at least about the snow. He first attended Mars Hill Junior College in Mars Hill, North Carolina, then the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. He worked his way through as a "co-op" student, alternately attending school and taking engineering jobs in three-month shifts. He received his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1942.

Charles' engineering acumen allowed him to become an important part of the war effort, doing research and development work for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) at Langley Research Center in Newport News, Virginia. He made significant contributions to the development of radio telemetry, which allows aircraft - and later spacecraft - to send data back to earth. In 1955, he left NACA for private industry, working for Burroughs Corporation and later General Electric's Missile and Space Division. In 1969, he returned to his roots at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA, NACA's successor agency) in Washington, D.C. He retired in 1982 as Director of the Network Systems Division of NASA's Office of Space Tracking and Data Systems.

In 1945, Charles married Nancy Highsmith of Macon, Georgia. Together, Charles and Nancy reared four children. When Nancy was stricken with Alzheimer's disease in her mid-50's, Charles took early retirement from NASA and returned with her to DeFuniak Springs, where he cared for Nancy until her death in 1983.

Among many talents, Charles had a gift for persuading wonderful women to marry him. Through volunteer work in Pensacola, he met the second love of his life, Alice Mandris, whom he married in 1985. In 1986 he came out of retirement to take his dream job as the NASA liaison to the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, Australia, where one of the two major NASA tracking stations is located. Charles and Alice spent four wonderful years in Canberra, using their position not only to form lasting friendships but also as a launch pad for many interesting trips throughout the world, all carefully documented in scrapbooks created by Alice.

In addition to his lifelong love of travel and learning, Charles relished many things in his long life: eating corn steamed just minutes after being picked from his garden, swapping jokes and stories with his family and friends, excelling at card games and puzzles, and especially expressing pride in the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren.

Charles was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Nancy H. Taylor; two brothers, Edwin H. Taylor, Jr. and George B. Taylor; and a stepson, Lee Mandris.

He is survived by his wife, two sisters, two stepchildren, sixteen grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

In late April, the family celebrated a brief private memorial prior to interring Charles' ashes in DeFuniak Springs.

Information taken from the February 3, 2013, edition of the Pensacola News Journal.

Charles A. Taylor, age 93, of Pensacola, Florida, died on January 18, 2013, following a brief illness.

Charles was born April 28, 1919, in Jefferson, Georgia. He was the third of five children of Edwin Howell Taylor, Sr. and Meda Appleby Taylor. The family moved often in his early years, spending time in the Carolinas and various cities in northwestern Florida before finally settling in DeFuniak Springs, where Charles completed high school. Although he often told stories of walking barefoot through the snow to school, he was perhaps stretching the truth - at least about the snow. He first attended Mars Hill Junior College in Mars Hill, North Carolina, then the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. He worked his way through as a "co-op" student, alternately attending school and taking engineering jobs in three-month shifts. He received his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1942.

Charles' engineering acumen allowed him to become an important part of the war effort, doing research and development work for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) at Langley Research Center in Newport News, Virginia. He made significant contributions to the development of radio telemetry, which allows aircraft - and later spacecraft - to send data back to earth. In 1955, he left NACA for private industry, working for Burroughs Corporation and later General Electric's Missile and Space Division. In 1969, he returned to his roots at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA, NACA's successor agency) in Washington, D.C. He retired in 1982 as Director of the Network Systems Division of NASA's Office of Space Tracking and Data Systems.

In 1945, Charles married Nancy Highsmith of Macon, Georgia. Together, Charles and Nancy reared four children. When Nancy was stricken with Alzheimer's disease in her mid-50's, Charles took early retirement from NASA and returned with her to DeFuniak Springs, where he cared for Nancy until her death in 1983.

Among many talents, Charles had a gift for persuading wonderful women to marry him. Through volunteer work in Pensacola, he met the second love of his life, Alice Mandris, whom he married in 1985. In 1986 he came out of retirement to take his dream job as the NASA liaison to the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, Australia, where one of the two major NASA tracking stations is located. Charles and Alice spent four wonderful years in Canberra, using their position not only to form lasting friendships but also as a launch pad for many interesting trips throughout the world, all carefully documented in scrapbooks created by Alice.

In addition to his lifelong love of travel and learning, Charles relished many things in his long life: eating corn steamed just minutes after being picked from his garden, swapping jokes and stories with his family and friends, excelling at card games and puzzles, and especially expressing pride in the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren.

Charles was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Nancy H. Taylor; two brothers, Edwin H. Taylor, Jr. and George B. Taylor; and a stepson, Lee Mandris.

He is survived by his wife, two sisters, two stepchildren, sixteen grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

In late April, the family celebrated a brief private memorial prior to interring Charles' ashes in DeFuniak Springs.

Information taken from the February 3, 2013, edition of the Pensacola News Journal.


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