Thomas Levi Taylor, 92, of Blythewood, died Thursday, August 8, 2019. Born April 23, 1927, in Jenkinsville, South Carolina, he was youngest of nine children born to James Andrew Taylor and Sarah Merab Harmon Taylor.
Chief Taylor is survived by his wife, Nancy C. Taylor of Blythewood; his children, Thom L. Taylor (Karen) of Columbia, Dianne Taylor McEntire Clay (Joe) of Blythewood, Daniel Edwin Taylor (Sabina) of Columbia, Robert Alan Taylor (Eric) of Myrtle Beach; step-daughter, Tiffaney Goff Creamer (Morgan McEntire) of Blythewood; and step-son, Matthew W. Goff (Brandi) of Myrtle Beach; along with 22 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his first wife of 58 years, Kitty Jay Lever; two infant daughters and a grandson, Taylor McEntire.
A the age of 19, Chief Taylor enlisted in the U.S. Navy after graduating from Jenkinsville High School. He served on the U.S.S. Gandy DE-764 from May 26, 1945 until August 2, 1946 in the Pacific during WWII. After the war, he worked in the timber and farming industry. In 1956, he was hired by the City of Columbia Fire Department and rose to the rank of Battalion Chief before his retirement in 1986. While at the fire department, he was instrumental in bringing about police retirement with the state for the fireman. In honor of his late grandson, Taylor McEntire, he played a key role in starting the MDA Boot Drive. Chief Taylor was an entrepreneur owning several businesses in the Columbia area to include Cedar Creek Christmas Tree Farm.
Chief Taylor was a strong leader and cared about his fellow man. Most of all, he was a good husband, father and grandfather. But first in his life was his love of Christ and his generosity to others. Always have a good word in due season. He will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched.
The funeral service for Chief Taylor will be held 3 o’clock, Sunday, August 11th at Cedar Creek Baptist Church, 1920 Cedar Creek Road, Blythewood, SC with Dr. James W. Thompson, III officiating. Burial will follow at Memorial Gardens of Columbia. The firefighters of Engine 12 will serve as pallbearers. Other members of the Columbia Fire Department, active and retired, are invited to serve as honorary pallbearers. The family will receive friends Saturday evening from 5 until 7 o’clock at Shives Funeral Home, Trenholm Road Chapel, 7600 Trenholm Road Ext., Columbia, SC.