Dr. James Gary Taylor, retired Ponca City veterinarian, went to be with the Lord on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, after a long battle with cancer. He was surrounded by many family members at his home.
Gary was born Sept. 24, 1944, in Harrisburg, Ark., son of Mary and Raymond Taylor. He grew up in Imboden, Ark., and graduated from Sloan Hendrix High School in 1962, receiving the state FFA degree.
Gary completed his pre-professional studies at the University of Arkansas, in Fayetteville, where he was consistently named to the dean’s honor roll. He was the recipient of several academic scholarships, including the Arkansas Farm Bureau, the Oaklawn Jockey Club and Sears and Roebuck Farm scholarships. In 1969, he received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. He also held a bachelor of science degree in agriculture from OSU.
Following graduation in 1969 he married Nancy Vickers of Ponca City. They moved to Harrison, Ark., where he practiced veterinary medicine for one year at Boone County Veterinary Clinic. Gary served as a captain in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps from 1970 to 1972. While serving at Fort Devens, Mass., he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service.
Dr. Taylor practiced one year at the Goodrich-Walker Veterinary Clinic in Miami and in 1973, he and his family moved to Ponca City where he built Taylor Veterinary Clinic. From 1981 to 1992 he was president of Ponca Body and Paint Shop and 1982 to 1985 president of Blackwell Animal Hospital, Blackwell. From 1973 until his retirement in October 2013, he was president of Taylor-Oldfield Veterinary Clinic, Inc. He retired after 40 years of practice due to his health.
Besides practicing veterinary medicine, some of Gary’s other loves were cattle ranching with his sons in Osage, Kay and Noble counties, attending OSU football and basketball games with his wife and sons, all OSU graduates, and spending time with his grandchildren whom he dearly loved. He was a member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church and the Sounder’s Sunday School Class. He was a previous Sunday school teacher and an adult education director of St. Paul’s UMC.
Gary was also very active in many professional and community organizations. These included the American, Oklahoma and North Central Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Associations, Ponca City Humane Society, Kay County and State Cattlemen’s Association.
Previous activities included OSU class of 1969 Representative College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Council, executive board of Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association, president of North Central Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association, member of Ponca City Animal Control Commission, chairman of the Taxation Committee of Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association, YMCA youth football and basketball coach, Ponca City Quarterback Club, chairman of Boy Scouts of America, member of the Ponca City FFA Alumni Boosters, director of Kay County Junior Livestock Show Board, director of Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association, member of Ponca City Noon Lions and member of the American Legion.
His parents, Mary and Raymond Taylor, and his older brother, Bobby Taylor, precede him in death. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, of Ponca City; his son, Ryan, his wife, Amanda, and their children, Jake and Caroline of Tulsa; his son, Robb and his daughters, Brennyn, Sydney, Jennifer and Mandi Hickman and her children of Perkins; his brother, Bill and his wife, Jeannine of Heber Springs, Ark.; his brother, Jerry and his wife, Patty of Edmond; his sister Mary Ellen Holladay and her husband, LD of England, Ark.; his brother-in-law, Larry Vickers and wife Patty; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
The family greatly appreciates the prayers, notes, food, and most of all, the time friends spent with Gary during his illness. Also, the considerate medical care given by Dr. Sullivan of Ponca City, Dr. Ross of the Ponca City Medical Center, Dr. Armor of Mercy Medical Center, Oklahoma City, and Hospice of North Central Oklahoma.
Visitation will be held at Grace Memorial Chapel Thursday, Jan. 9 from 7-8 p.m. and a graveside service will be Friday, Jan. 10, at 11 a.m. at Odd Fellow’s Cemetery followed by a celebration of Gary’s life at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. Friday.
A Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established in memory of Dr. Taylor at the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Contributions can be sent to OSU Foundation, 400 S. Monroe, Stillwater, OK, 74604. (Attention: Dr. James Gary Taylor Memorial Scholarship).
An online guestbook may be signed at www.gracememorialchapel.net.