Bob Taylor, a former member of the New Garden Township supervisor who helped to sculpt the township into the community it is today, died last week at the age of 82.Taylor served as a supervisor for 43 years, from 1962 to 2005, and also served a number of other committees and organizations inside and outside the New Garden community.
Supervisor Steve Allaband said that the entire township is saddened by the loss of both Taylor and longtime solicitor George Brutscher, who died unexpectedly several months ago.
He added that Taylor had his hands in much of what exists in New Garden today, including the shared sewer plant with Avondale Borough and numerous residential and commercial developments.
Allaband served on the board of supervisors with Taylor for a number of years, and also worked under him as part of the planning commission. In that time, Allaband said, Taylor was willing to take risks on projects that ultimately gave positive results for the community.
"Bob was the epitome of what it means to be a public servant," Allaband said. "He was a leader in the township in many ways, and that's how I will remember him."
Supervisor Barclay Hoopes, who was elected to the board in 2005, said that he grew up knowing Taylor and his family through their proximity and through Taylor's community work, especially with local Republican concerns.
He added that Taylor served as his mentor in township affairs and that the prosperity the township knows today is a direct result of Taylor's efforts.
"He was steadfast in his love for New Garden," Hoopes said. "He brought us from an agricultural society to the diverse community you see here today and we're going to continue to build on that."
Taylor was born into a large Chadds Ford farming family in 1926, one of 11 other siblings. He had worked as a dairy farmer, mushroom grower and for numerous area Republican associations. He had served on the boards of several regional commissions, including the American Mushroom Institute and the White Clay Watershed Association.
As roadmaster for the township, Taylor oversaw the paving and maintenance of many of its highways and byways, including upgrading some of the many dirt roads to asphalt surfaces.
Before leaving office, Taylor was also instrumental in getting the town-ship's new 14,000-square-foot office building on Starr Road constructed, and also initiated the hiring of township manager Carmen Raddi, a first for the community.
In 2005, Taylor was inducted into the Pennsylvania Township News' Supervisor Hall of Fame, a feat that Allaband said took some finagling to accomplish.
"We had to lie to him a little," Allaband said about the feat of getting Taylor to the meeting where he was honored for his years of service. "If he had known about it ahead of time, he never would have one for it."