The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

June 16, 2013

Former newspaper publisher dies

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — John Taylor, a longtime publisher of Enid newspapers, died Friday evening after a lengthy illness. He was 85.

The Taylor family and the Garber family published the Enid Morning News and Enid Daily Eagle for two generations until selling the newspapers in 1989. The two daily papers then merged into what is today the Enid News & Eagle.

Funeral service for Taylor will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at First United Methodist Church, Enid, with the Rev. Randy Mitchell officiating. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery under the direction of Brown-Cummings Funeral Home, Enid.

Taylor was rem­embered by friends and former employees as a kind and generous man.

“I never saw him get upset," said Enid attorney Tim Traynor, a friend for more than 40 years. "He was very successful at the newspaper and at other ventures; everyone liked and respected him. I never heard anyone say a bad word about him,” Traynor said. “He was a good guy, a true gentleman.”

Taylor was an active member of Enid's First United Methodist Church, where he served on the board of trustees. He was a former president of Enid’s YMCA and the Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce. Oklahoma State University honored Taylor as a distinguished alumnus, and he served on the OSU Board of Governors.

Taylor and his wife, Sue, made a donation that allowed OSU to create and furnish the dining room at the College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, and he also helped create Karsten Creek Golf Club at Stillwater.

Taylor graduated from Enid High School in 1944 at age 16 and briefly attended Phillips University. Short­ly afterward, he enlisted in the Air Force be­cause of a lifelong love of flying. He served in Guam. Prior to his deployment, he met Sue Hackleman of Stillwater, and they began dating. They married six years later in 1950 in Stillwater.

After his discharge, Taylor attended Oklahoma A&M until he returned to Enid to help run the family publishing business. The Taylor family managed the sales and business operations, while the Garber family ran the news side.

John Taylor served as president of Enid Publishing Co. and was an owner until 1989. He also was an owner of Enid radio stations KCRC and KNID-FM and Enid Two-Way.

Christianne Garber Chase said she knew Taylor well. She called him a great business partner and friend to her father.

“I think the relationship between the two families worked so well for so many years because each had clearly-defined areas of responsibility; the Garbers had the editorial side and the Taylors the business side,” Chase said.

She said Taylor also was her neighbor and the treasurer of their homeowners association, a job nobody else wanted but a role in which he was very faithful.

“He and Sue are just two of the kindest, sweetest people I ever knew,” Chase said.

Jim Anderson, Taylor’s brother-in-law and friend, had glowing comments about Taylor.

“He was a nice, Christian man. I had several road trips with him to sporting events and fishing, and he was a joy to be around,” Anderson said. Taylor was not the type of individual who “preached” his beliefs but lived his life according to the Ten Commandments, Anderson said. “He was truly a person who lived that way. Everybody liked John,” he said.

Longtime Enid newswriter Jeff Mullin recalled Taylor fondly.

“He was a super nice guy, always very personable,” Mullin said. People in the advertising department were very fond of Taylor, Mullin recalled.

Longtime sportswriter Bruce Campbell said Taylor always treated everyone the same, regardless of position.

“He was a great man, one of the nicest men you would ever want to meet. We joked about OU and OSU. He wanted to know if I was spying on OSU,” Campbell said.

Enid resident Lee Thompson also was a friend of Taylor. “He was a fine fella,” Thompson said. “... He was a very big supporter of OSU and was a very generous and benevolent sort of guy. He and his wife were both wonderful citizens here.”