Louie Dale Taylor
Aug. 7, 1930 - Sept. 21, 2021
October 6, 2021
Louie Dale Taylor, 91, of Sweet Home, passed away in the loving arms of his daughter Pamela on Sept. 21, 2021, with several family members close by.
He was born Aug. 7, 1930, in Somerton, Ariz., to John Riley Taylor and Oma Jackson Taylor.
Louie and Virginia's family history runs deep in the Yuma Valley and Texas. Virginia's grandfather, Juan Zavala, was appointed a prison guard at the Yuma Territorial Prison in 1884. His picture hangs in the museum to this day. In 1911 he was Yuma's first "official" policeman.
Louie's grandfather, John Taylor, was a deputy sheriff in Burnet County, Texas. In 1892, while running in an election against the incumbent sheriff, there was a personal dispute and John Taylor shot and killed the sheriff in self-defense. He was found not guilty of murder.
Louie was an amazing storyteller and his family loved to sit for hours and listen to the stories of his family's life.He could recall names and intricate details even in his last days.
When he was 6 years old, his mother abandoned their family and his baby brother and sister were adopted out of the family. He refused to leave his father and would run away and hide when the authorities would visit their home.
He dropped out of school in the seventh grade to go to work in the lettuce fields to help support his father, whose health was failing from the effects of being gassed while serving our country in the Army during World War II.
Louie helped build the first airport in Somerton, Ariz., which became a flight school and he learned to fly airplanes at the age of 14.
At a very young age he learned to master any vehicle or piece of machinery he was around.
He married the love of his life, Virginia Marie Kaldman, on May 20, 1950. She was 16 and he was 19.
Their first son, James Randall (Randy), was born 11 months later. Shortly after, he packed up his family and their whole life and headed to Oregon, where he didn't know anyone, but he'd heard there were good jobs. He went to work for Roseburg Lumber Company pulling on the green chain.
They moved to Lebanon in 1954, where their daughter Pamela Ann was born, and then moved to Sweet Home in 1956. There they bought their first and only home, where he resided until his passing. He always had the most beautiful yard on the hillside and a massive garden that he shared with many.
Any chance he could, Louie would take his family on the long road journey back to his homeland, Somerton, and visit his many family members there.The family commented many times that "Louie Dale" was the glue that held their family together.
When he came to Sweet Home his trucking career started when he went to work for Fred Santesson, driving log truck. Fred and Gladys took us in like family.
In the 1960s Louie built his own 19-foot inboard/outboard boat. Along with his truck driving job, he joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary and helped put on boating safety classes, boat inspections and patrolled special events on the Oregon Coast. He patrolled Foster Lake for the hydroplane boat races during Sportsman's Holiday.
During the building of the Foster and Green Peter dams, Louie went to work for Tuffy Hall, Shannon Transport, a heavy equipment hauling company.
He was in charge of transporting equipment and supplies from the supply yard in Sweet Home to the Green Peter Dam site. The dam building company was so impressed with his work ethic that they invited him to join their company, traveling the U.S.
He declined their offer, as he did not want to uproot his family.
Louie then went to work for Bob Harbaugh driving log truck and lowboy, moving logging equipment. In addition, he became the truck boss and dispatcher for Bob's fleet of log trucks.
In 1969 they had their third child, Cory Allen Taylor.
In 1978 Louie became an owner/operator when he purchased a new 1979 Freightliner and flatbed trailer. He started hauling specialty lumber to the building boom in California, alongside his daughter Pamela and son-in-law.
He continued his trucking business until 1988, when he was stricken, while on a haul, with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. This forced him out of his trucking business and into retirement at age 58.
He spent three months in the hospital fighting for his life and two years in physical therapy learning to walk again.
When he regained most of his health back, he started a video transfer business out of his home and did video work for his son Randy's store in Springfield.
He worked with the Sweet Home Historical Society and East Linn Museum to help record and preserve our local history.
When Virginia retired, after 33 years in the banking business, Louie started a pewter casting businesses and they worked rock and gem shows on the West Coast, selling his pewter and precious beads, and stone jewelry Virginia would make.
Louie and Virginia were camp hosts for the Oregon Jamboree for 10 years.
In 1994 he started working at South Fork Trading in Sweet Home when his daughter Pamela and son-in-law opened their business. He continued working for Nick Cross when he bought the business, until 2004 when Virginia was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He then devoted his life to taking care of her until her passing at their home in 2006.
In his prime of life he was 6-foot-4 (thin as a rail), and had massive hands and a booming voice. His laughter could be heard by all. He and Virginia were beautiful dancers (she was 5 feet, 2 inches tall) and they never missed an opportunity to dance the night away with their friends and family at the Elks and Vets clubs.
He was a lifetime member (60 years) of the Sweet Home Elks.
He adored his family and they thought the world of him. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, never missing an opportunity to spend time with his family, attending their sporting events and family gatherings.
He attended Sweet Home Community Chapel with his family and Applegate Christian Fellowship Amphitheater in Medford with his companion, Lois Klienhans.
Louie is survived by his companion of 14 years, Lois Klienhans, of Medford; son Randy Taylor and wife Tana of Eugene, daughter Pamela Taylor Thompson Rasmussen and husband Gary of Foster, and son Cory Taylor, of Phoenix, Ariz., eight grandchildren, Desiree Thompson Barringer and husband Dave of Sweet Home, Tiffany Thompson Starha and husband Josh of Sweet Home, Brie Taylor Duff and husband Nate of California, Cameron Taylor and wife Stephanie of Portland, Chase Taylor of Portland, Joshua Taylor of Sweet Home, Seth Taylor of the U.S. Navy, and Lea Rasmussen Knight and husband Adam of Sweet Home; and 11 great-grandchildren, Madison Barringer, Jackson Barringer, Samuel Barringer Taylor Goodwin, Daniel Goodwin, Brodie Starha, Prestyn Taylor, Rian Duff, Evan Knight, Abel Knight and Asher Knight.
Louie was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Virginia Marie Kaldman Taylor; his parents; and younger brother.
A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 8, at Lewis Creek Cemetery, followed by a Celebration of Life reception at the Sweet Home Elks Lodge.
Memorial contributions can be made to Sweet Home Boys & Girls Club or Sweet Home Elks Lodge.
Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling the arrangements.