J. Clagett Taylor, Jr. died Sunday. He was born in Spartanburg,SC in 1935 to Annie Laurie and J. Clagett Taylor. Sr. After returning to Sebring with his parents at age 4, he attended Sebring schools graduating in 1953 and received his BA from Davidson College in NC, He was a proud member of the SHS & Davidson College bands. He also obtained at Masters Degree in International Relations at the American University in Washington, D.C. His thesis on the political development of the African nation of Tanganyika was later published by both Oxford and Princeton Press. In 1958 he married Patricia Kressly of Easton, PA and In the spring of 1961 they went with their 6 month of daughter to Rhodesia, Southern Africa as educational missionaries for the Methodist Church. Both their sons were born during the five years they worked there. When they returned to Florida. Clagett attend the University of Florida in Gainesville in the newly developing African Studies Program. Meanwhile, he received a position as a Foreign Service Officer for the US Department of State. He was assigned to several different countries to work in the United States Embassies: Jamaica, West Indies, Zambia in central Africa and Venezuela, So. America as well as a Cultural Exchange with a man from Mauritius back in Washington. Following a tour in Washington and the Desk officer for South Africa, the family returned to Sebring in 1979 due to ill health of his dad, and need to help in the family businesses. In a few years later, he was taking courses at Polk Community College to study citrus growing as well as joining with Joel Stevenson to purchase and run Webster Manufacturing. Which Hank Webster, Joel's father-in-law and Clagett's father had originally started. In a few years he was also an ardent member of Sebring Noon Rotary which became, one his greatest interests. He won a number of awards as a Rotarian, served as President and was particularly known for the time and effort he spent searching out young men and women to become successful applicants for the Rotary Scholarships awarded many years to study outside the United States. He was a Multi Paul Harris Fellow. Another of his interests was the annual Grand Prix of Sebring, and subsequently the American LeMans Series. He was the first president of SIRAC, working for many years at the track driving the shuttle for photographers and dignitaries. He also supported the Sebring FFA in their yearly efforts. Involved with Peace of Highlands County.
He supported the Sebring Blue Streaks and was proud to see two sons follow him as graduates of SHS.
He is survived by his wife of 53 yrs, Patricia, a daughter Debbie (Pablo) Valencia, of Mich. Son, J. Clagett III (Jim) and Sue Taylor, Ocoee, FL; Son, John A (Katherine Livingston) Taylor, Lake Placid, FL and 8 grandchildren, Laura and David Valencia, James Clagett Taylor IV and Kristen Taylor and Forrest, Johnny, Patricia and Daniel Taylor.
Visitation will be Friday from 5-7PM at Morris Funeral Chapel. Services will be held Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 2:00 PM at First United Methodist Church, Sebring. Burial will follow at Pinecrest Cemetery. Those desiring may make contributions to the Family Life Building at First United Methodist Church, Sebring Noon Rotary Charities or to Habitat for Humanity.
Condolences or Life Stories may be expressed in his Guestbook. Morris Funeral Chapel, Sebring, Fl.
Patricia Taylor, Wife
Debbie (Pablo) Valencia, Daughter
J. Clagett III (Jim)& Sue Taylor, Son
John A (Katherine Livingston) Taylor, Son
Laura and David Valencia
James Clagett Taylor IV
Place Of Birth: Spartanburg, SC
Place Of Death: Sebring, FL.
Death: July 10, 2011
Organizations: Sebring Noon Rotary
Peace of Highlands County
Ocupation: Foreign Service Officer
for the US Department of State
Ran Webster Manufacturing
Visitation will be Friday from 5-7PM
at Morris Funeral Chapel
Services will be held Saturday,
July 16, 2011 at 2:00 PM
at First United Methodist Church
Burial will follow
at Pinecrest Cemetery