Longtime sportswriter Bob Taylor dies

January 4, 2013

By Kathleen R. Merrill

Robert L. “Bob” Taylor, former longtime sports editor of The Issaquah Press and sportswriter for the Sammamish Review, died the morning of Dec. 24, 2012, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. He was 63.

Taylor, of Renton, was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, and was battling that and leukemia at the time of his death. He wrote about his illness many times in The Press.

He married his wife, the former Pauline Namit, who he called his best friend, in 1976, and she was his main caregiver in his last years. He was very proud of his son, David, 34, a University of Washington graduate. Family meant everything to him. He also loved his dog Katie.

Taylor was half Finnish and proud of his heritage. He was born Oct. 4, 1949, in Vancouver, Wash., to Hilda (Kopra) and Layton Taylor, and raised on a farm in Southwest Washington.

He loved listening to music, especially jazz and big band music, and he had a keen interest in history, especially the Civil War, colonial times and the Old West. He also enjoyed fishing, genealogy, reading, writing, cooking, baseball card collecting and baseball historical research.

He loved to tell stories, often turning a short topic into a long one, and people loved to hear him tell them. He was a positive person, no matter the circumstances, and he remained upbeat despite his illnesses.

Taylor’s career began in 1972, when he graduated from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in history. He was hired by the weekly Bellingham Metropolitan and started that job the day of his graduation. He then went on to become sports editor at the Bellingham Herald for two years. He covered the World Series in 1974. He then worked in Colorado for seven months before returning to the Evergreen State.

For almost 20 years, Taylor covered sports for the now-defunct Journal-American, later called the Eastside Journal, a daily newspaper that was based in Bellevue. Although he worked the Seattle Mariners’ beat on three different occasions, the University of Washington football beat for two years and a year with the Seattle Sounders, most Eastside readers will remember him as a high school sports writer and “living encyclopedia of Eastside sports.”

After a stint as a teacher (Taylor had substituted in the Issaquah, Renton, Bellevue and Snoqualmie Valley districts and the Archdiocese of Seattle), and a stopover at the Whidbey Island News-Times in Oak Harbor, he had covered prep sports for The Press since May 22, 2000. He retired in March with plans to write books.

Outside of sports, Taylor made an impact on Issaquah with his “Faith in Focus” series, introducing readers to many of the religious congregations and pastors in the area. He also wrote many features about various topics, and he loved telling the stories of veterans. He also volunteered his time and love to special-needs children.

Taylor won many awards for editorial performance, reporting, writing and public service. In 1990, he was recognized for his volunteer work with the Bellevue School District. In 1993, he received an honorary diploma from St. Joseph’s Indian School in South Dakota.

In 1996, he received the Spirit of the KingCo Conference award, and the Journal-American sports section was named one of the top 10 daily sports/special sections.

Taylor won many Washington Newspaper Publishers Association and Society of Professional Journalists awards for his stories and columns in The Press. He was to be presented with another award Jan. 19 at the Washington State Track and Field Coaches Convention.

 

Comment at www.SammamishReview.com.

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4 Responses to “Longtime sportswriter Bob Taylor dies”

  1. Jef Jaisun on January 4th, 2013 8:17 pm

    I worked with Bob at the Journal-American for nearly five years. A damned fine gentleman in every sense of the word. RIP, brother.

  2. Ron Ciraulo on January 4th, 2013 8:36 pm

    I had the pleasure of being one of Bob’s interviewees for an article he wrote about our ministry. After spending 45 minutes together, it seemed as if we’d known each other for years. He had a wonderful way of entering into conversation as a friend would. I went away thinking that his passion for reporting was actually a passion for people. Bob will be missed.

  3. stephen tierney on January 6th, 2013 10:17 am

    Any athlete on the eastside during the late 70′s thru 80′s loved reading his articles on highschool sports-from Quinn Snyder to Kurt Steck to Jon Bostic etc. Before the internet you really didn’t get to know other teams-athletes-history etc. A real treasure from yesturyear.

  4. Art Francis on January 7th, 2013 7:25 am

    If ever there was reason, the life and times of Bob Taylor certainly deserve to be memorialized in the form of a “Bob Talor Sports & Humanity Award”, given to an athelte in the Eastside. Certainly the award would recognize many of the same traits that Bob exemplified and would go to either a male or female best meeting the award standards. Perhaps even the Iss Press, the Samammaish Review ot both together, could also fund a small scholarship, say $500 with the award for use towards school costs.

    Bob was not only a good reporter, but a great person with great values. Let there be the Bob Taylor award. MAKE IT SO!

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