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In Memoriam: Neil Taylor


By Tommy Brannon, MFH

William Neilson Taylor III (Neil) passed away on Thursday, January 30, 2020.  He was predeceased by his parents, W.N. Taylor, Jr., Virginia Weaver Taylor, and his daughter, Ashby Taylor Loftin. He leaves behind his wife, Katherine (Kitty) Perry Taylor, his son, Neilson Taylor (Dawn), and four grandchildren: Neil (Heather), Mitchell, Ashby, and Maggie, as well as three great-grandsons and his son-in-law, John Loftin.

An avid fox hunter and sportsman, Neil was Master of Foxhounds and huntsman for Oak Grove Hunt Club from 1976 to 2003. While he was MFH and huntsman, the Oak Grove kennels and one of Oak Grove’s primary fixtures were at the Taylors’ Ash-Ne Farm, located south of Collierville, TN. The farm was named for his children Ashby and Neilson. Noted for their generosity and hospitality, the whole Taylor family were enthusiastic fox hunters. Neil’s wife Kitty was Field Master, both children hunted, as well as Ashby’s husband John Lofton. Neilson would also fill in as huntsman from time to time. 

Neil also enjoyed his cottage at Horseshoe Lake, where he duck hunted and fished. He and Kitty also travelled extensively throughout Europe.

Neil graduated from McCallie Military High School and Georgia Tech with a degree in engineering. He then married his wife of 63 years, Kitty, and lived in Los Angeles for a while, where Neil worked for the North American Aircraft Co. in the space program. He served for many years as President of the family business, Memphis Machine Works, which is now run by his son.

Neil was a communicate of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and was dedicated to the church’s Bible study. He also hosted the church’s annual fish fry at his home for many years.

Neil never met a stranger; his most endearing quality was his love and devotion to family and friends.

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