Gordon Williams Taggart
1917 - 2010, Santa Barbara
Gordon Williams Taggart was born on December 23, 1917 in Chariton , Iowa to Ernest and Gladys Taggart. He was the eldest of four children. His father was a minister and during the early years of his childhood, the family moved frequently.
After graduation from high school in 1936 in Independence, Missouri. Gordon joined the Navy, where he remained until the end of World War II.
In 1947, he moved with his wife and three children to Washington where he attended the University while working at various jobs.
In 1954, he moved his family to Ketchikan, Alaska where he worked as a foreman in a pulp mill. Then in 1959, he moved to Santa Barbara, California where he was to begin his studies at the Brooks Institute of Photography. But an accident prevented him from fulfilling this dream. Eventually, Gordon became a map draftsman for the County of Santa Barbara , where he remained until his retirement in 1982.
Gordon had a full and rich life. He was a man of many talents who could accomplish anything he set his mind to. He pursued many interests throughout his long life, including photography and drawing. He loved spending time in nature. In his younger and middle years, he had been an avid hiker and rock climber. In later years, he became an avid walker, and finally in his last years he would maneuver his way up the steep road near his home with the help of a walker. Gordon never gave up on his walking and he loved to greet and chat with people during his walks.
Gordon also enjoyed very much the pleasures of music. He had a rich, deep singing voice and was an enthusiastic member of the Santa Barbara Choral Society for many years. One of his greatest pleasures was participating in the Messiah Sing-A-Long each Christmas season.
The following quote from Gordon's memoirs, expressed so beautifully in his own words, captures the very essence of this lovable good-natured man, who was always accepting of life, always upbeat with a kind and cheerful work for everyone.
"I have always felt that my job is to evaluate as well as I can each possibility as it comes my way and be willing to change if I have to. I do not regret. I always did what I thought I had to do. And I still do! I sought to know the truth, and found there is no such thing as complete truth, except beauty, which is everywhere in life. I see myself mainly as an observer of life. Failures do not easily depress me. I just do my best, and move on."
Gordon will be greatly missed by his family and friends, as well as those in the community where he lived, who briefly touched his life during his daily walks up the hill.
Gordon Williams Taggart died on May 3, 2010 in Santa Barbara , California during a short stay at the Buena Vista Care Center after he broke a hip. He was 92 years old. He died peacefully, without complications, as he had lived his life.
Gordon is survived by his beloved companion, Anna Marie Weiner, with whom his shared his life for the last 27 years; his wife, Muriel Taggart, from whom he was separated but remained good friends; Mara Weiner, who was like a daughter to him, daughter Sandra De Phillippo and her husband, John; son Rod Taggart and his wife, Kim, son Ron Taggart, grandchildren Laura and Morgan Taggart, grandson Gary De Phillippo and his wife, Ashlee, three great-grandchildren, twin girls Mia and Sadie and Rocco De Phillippo. He is also survived by his sister, Rosemary Graham; brothers Paul Jamison and Alan Bruce, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial gathering for family and friends to honor Gordon's memory will be held in Oak Grove Park on June 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm.
Address is: 450 Camino del Remedio, Santa Barbara, CA 93110