Gary Joseph TaylorOctober 13, 1949 ~ July 18, 2018 (age 68)
Gary Joseph Taylor passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. He was born in Washington, DC in 1949, the son of Jaxon Taylor and the late Mary Bernice Taylor. He is survived by his wife, Teresa; stepdaughter Caroline Radcliffe (Rhett); twin brother, Larry Taylor (Lorri); sister, Cheryl Roberts (Jim); grandchildren, Tenley and Carter Brown; nephews Christopher Taylor (Anne) and Patrick Taylor (Vicky); grand niece and nephew Jessica and Luke Taylor; mother-in-law Sylvia Tyeryar; sisters-in-law Chris Valek (Tommy) and Kelly Bennett (Mike) and numerous nieces and nephews.
Fish and wildlife conservation leader, state advocate, friend, mentor, visionary…none of these terms come close to capturing Gary J. Taylor, who walked from our world to the next on July 18, 2018. Gary was a tireless leader in his field of fish and wildlife conservation policy, who started his career in Maryland as a District Manager for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and ascended through the agency to become the Director. Gary went on to lead conservation issues for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies for two decades as the Legislative Director, representing the collective interests of all fifty states in the halls of Congress and with federal administrations, on a wide array of issues including state authorities for management of fish and wildlife, habitat work across the country, threatened and endangered species, wildlife diseases, and access for hunting and fishing. Gary knew Congressional staff and elected officials on both sides of the aisle, was well respected by all, and used his personal relationships to further the careers of many in the conservation community. Gary went on to work for both Ducks Unlimited to lead their Government Affairs and for the National Wild Turkey Federation, also in Government Affairs.
Gary’s wit and candid style was loved by his colleagues. He could swiftly cut through the rhetoric of tough issues and sort out who was helping move issues forward and who was not. He unselfishly loaned his gravitas to fledgling conservationists, elevating them into leadership roles. Gary loved his family, profession, and colorful language, equally. His ability to use a four letter word as a noun, pro-noun, adverb, adjective and verb was a skill set beyond measure. No one escaped his talent in this area, especially when they tried to “slip a sunrise past a rooster” over an issue about conservation.
He loved the land, water, fish and wildlife. He loved a new idea; he loved big ideas about conservation. He was no small thinker. He was a fearless advocate of truth and science, never leaving or abandoning his scientific/academic training. Most of all, Gary loved his conservation colleagues, well, almost all of them. He never released his flying monkeys unless it was absolutely necessary. He was part Dorothy and Glenda with a sprinkling of the Wicked Witch of the West.
Gary knew no work/life balance - his great work was intertwined into his life, similar to the DNA spiral he studied as a wildlife student at the University of Maryland. He was part of the adjunct faculty of Johns Hopkins School of Continuing studies and won so many national awards it would be impossible to list them all. Working with Gary was the high water mark for many in the wildlife conservation community - he was the best!
Interment will be private, at the request of the family. A celebration of Gary’s life will be held on September 22, 2018 at 3 o’clock pm, Stauffer Funeral Home, 1621 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick, MD. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to America’s Wildlife Association for Resource Education (AWARE), ℅ The Gary Taylor Policy Internship Scholarship, at the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, 1100 First Street, NE, Suite 825, Washington, DC 20002.