WESTMINSTER, Vt. – Richard “Dick” Taylor, 77, was born in Bellows Falls, July 9, 1943. He was born to Paul Merrill Taylor and Anita Cheverier Taylor. He leaves behind his siblings Nancy (Wayland) Robinson, David (Kay) Taylor, and Tina (William) Kissell. His sister Paula (Bonnie) Stetson predeceased him in 2003.
Dick married the love of his life, Barbara Ranzau, April 5, 1969. They have one daughter Bobbi (John) Kilburn. He leaves two grandsons Jacob and Ian Kilburn and a granddaughter Alexandra Kilburn Hoult.
He also leaves his nephews Donald Robinson, Raymond Stetson, Travis Kissell, and niece Nicole Kissell; grand nephews Michael, Willie, and Riley Stetson, Matthew Londaro, Antonio Gallello; grand nieces Maggie Londaro, Kelsey Kissell; Maggie, his golden retriever; and so many good friends. He was predeceased by nephews Stephen and David Robinson.
Dick grew up in Putney, attended Putney Central School, and received his GED in 1984. He took classes at CCV as well as Southern NE College. He was active in the Putney Central School Reunion organization.
In 1967, Dick was drafted into the Army and sent to Fort Benning, Ga. He trained as an instructor in ammunitions, served six months special duty in Panama, and returned to Redstone Arsenal with top security clearance. He and Barbara returned to Putney in 1970.
Dick was hired by Basketville and worked in basket making and design. In 1977, he established the Turning Department, apprenticing under Romeo Renaud. In 1984, he built his own shop in Westminster. As the “Wood Taylor,” he performed custom carpentry, woodcarvings, and turning.
Dick’s Acanthus relief carved chest won him second best of class and first in category at the 1991 Mohawk Valley Carving Show. He said, “Most carvers have a specialty. It may be animals, or cigar-store Indians, or Santa Clauses. I haven’t decided yet what my specialty is, so I do a little bit of everything.” And he did.
He was a president and member of the Green Mountain Woodcarvers, sat on the Westminster Planning Commission, and was a member of the First Congregational Church of Walpole.
A graveside service will be held Aug. 1 at 1 p.m. at the Westminster Cemetery. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, we ask that anyone in attendance please wear facemasks.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Green Mountain Woodcarvers, the Birds of Vermont Museum, or the First Congregational Church of Walpole.