Gerald C. Taylor is now flying with the eagles as he made his transition at home on Oct. 1, 2016, with family at his bedside. During an extended illness, his wife Grace cared for him.
Gerald, also known as Jerry, was born in Los Angeles on Sept. 3, 1935, to Thelma and Jack Taylor. In his preteens, his father took Jerry and his brother Larry to Guam to live during the rebuilding of the island after World War II. When he was 15, he came to live in San Luis Obispo, where he attended San Luis Obispo High School. He then enlisted in the U.S. Navy, in which he returned to Guam during his time in the service.
When returning back to San Luis Obispo after his military service, he started his family and moved to Santa Maria. Then in the 1960s, Jerry started working as an appraiser with Santa Barbara County. He left Santa Barbara County to work as an appraiser with Santa Barbara Savings and Loan, where he met Grace. They were married on New Year’s Day 1970, the beginning of more than four decades of adventures that included travels throughout the United States and to many different countries on five continents. In the mid-1970s they moved to Atascadero, where they resided ever since.
Jerry distinguished himself as a member of the Society of Real Estate Appraisers (SREA) and Member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI). He taught real estate appraisal and economics at Hancock College, Cuesta College and Cal Poly.
Jerry was one of the first in the appraisal business to recognize that manufactured homes in mobile-home parks appreciated and should be valued as real estate. He wrote a book about appraising mobile homes and Grace did the marketing. To further his appraisal experience, they moved to Tucson, Ariz., where he worked with a large appraisal firm. A year later they moved back to San Luis Obispo, where he went into a partnership with Walt Ross and Richard (Dick) Schenberger. Dick and Jerry remained partners and the firm Schenberger, Taylor, McCormick and Jecker is still in business 44 years later.
Jerry loved flying and began taking lessons at a crop-dusting field during the early 1960s. He later became an instrument-rated pilot and owned three airplanes, with the last being a Cessna 207 that enabled him to fly his family down to their vacation home in San Felipe, Baja California. He also flew missions with Flying Samaritans and Angel Flights.
His love of flying was part of his appreciation of eagles and he collected beautiful eagle art. Whenever one of his friends or family sees an eagle, they will be reminded of Jerry and will know that he will forever “soar on wings like eagles.”
Jerry was a member of the Fraternal Order of Elks and was an officer of the Atascadero Lodge. He and Grace were members of the lodge’s Roadrunner RV club. He had also been a member of the Navy League.
He is survived by his loving wife Grace; his children Dixie Ridge (Richard), Charles, Cindy Cravens (John), Terri Mettam (Russ), Jenny Lowrey, and Gerald Patrick; by his sister Patti Jarrell (Dave); and by many loving grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews, including granddaughters and their spouses who helped in providing loving care during his illness, Katie Hofstetter (Ryan) and Barbara Patterson (Scott) of Atascadero.
A memorial service will be held at the Atascadero Elks Lodge at 1516 El Camino Real, Atascadero, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to one of Jerry’s favorite charities, the Atascadero Elks Lodge Purple Pig Project, which “helps kids walk, talk and play.”
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