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James “Jim” Earl Taylor passed away Sunday Feb. 26th, 2023 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Jim was born on Sept. 28th, 1950 in Cortez, Colorado to Earl “Smoky” Ellis and Ruth Ann (Byers) Taylor, their first born.
The family moved for a short time to Washington state, then moving to Idaho where the family owned and operated a dairy farm. Jim had an exciting time herding the cows and beginning his first grade in school. After an extended time in Idaho the family moved to Phoenix, AZ. Jim had loads of fun with his siblings and friends exploring and making long treks into the desert. Around this time the parents got the kids a horse to ride named “Frosty”, a goat named “Tammy”, as well as a dog named “Washrag”. Jim loved riding Frosty. Some of Jim’s pastimes was playing marbles for keeps, he became an expert, and had a gallon or more of marbles won to prove his abilities. Another fun thing was kite flying which he loved to do, trying to see how high he could get his kite to go. Jim excelled at playing the yo-yo, he could do tricks which most couldn’t do like; rock the baby, walk the dog, around the world, and others. Jim was good with his hands. During this time Jim developed rheumatic fever. He had to spend a summer away from his other siblings in order to keep him calm and less rambunctious. He spent that summer with his grandparents who were retired and living and fishing in Parker, AZ.
When Jim was about 12 years old the family moved back to where he began, Cortez, Colorado. The family bought a farm about 6 miles south of Cortez near highway 491. There was lots to do, and Jim did all that was necessary to help establish the farm. He was very helpful on the farm caring for the animals, and helping with the tilling, planting, irrigating, and harvesting. School was not one of Jim’s fun things to do, but he managed. Jim was involved in both 4-H and FFA, he raised and showed his animals at the fair, and one of his steers that he picked out himself from the herd, won the reserve grand champion title. There were a couple ponies that were pastured at one of our neighbors, a paint, and a buckskin. Jim had his eye on one that he especially liked, the buckskin. The parents bought them both and Jim called his horse “Buck”. Buck was a great horse, Jim and his friends and siblings had many horseback rides, camping up on the slopes of the Mesa, and the Ute Mountain.
Jim graduated from MCHS high school and left Cortez to work in Many Farms, AZ., on the Navajo Reservation. He worked and managed the trading post‘s Exxon gas station. While there he built himself a dune buggy, and with his motorcycle, rode them to explore many exciting places in the area. While at the trading post he and others there put together a 6-person pony express relay racing team, competing against other teams, in the Cortez, Mancos, and Dove Creek area. One time he hauled horses up into the high Rockies to camp and ride the trails. While in Many Farms Jim took a silver smithing course at the Navajo Community College. Jim had a flare for jewelry smithing and he made some very nice pieces. Upon leaving the reservation, Jim and his family moved to Bluff, UT, setting up a jewelry shop and business, where he, friends, and family, made and sold jewelry. This was a good time for Jim helping grow the business and selling wholesale jewelry around the western parts of the United States. When Jim wasn’t working with the jewelry, he enjoyed exploring the area, riding the dune buggy, and inner tubing down the San Juan River.
Jim was a trader, always on the look out for a good deal to turnover, whether it be antiques or vintage jewelry. Jim eventually moved back to Cortez putting together a rock yard and landscaping business where he sold flagstone, and decorative rocks. The last few years were not kind to Jim, he came onto hard times, and ill health. Recently Jim was involved in a serious car accident which put him in the hospital, and finally a nursing home in Colorado Springs these last few months, where he passed away peacefully. Jim was preceded in death by his grandparents, parents, brother Wilbur “Wil” Taylor, and nephew Lane Taylor. Jim is survived by his son Chad Earl Taylor (Katie), siblings; Glenn Taylor, Duane “Joe” (Pam) Taylor, Leita (Tom) Hughes, Lewis (Micki) Risenhoover, and many nieces and nephews. Jim was buried in the Cahone, CO Cemetery. Jim will be missed by those who loved him and may he rest in peace.
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