Robert E. Taylor

Robert E. Taylor
December 15, 1930–December 8, 2022

Robert E. Taylor died peacefully of complications from dementia at his home in New Paltz on December 8, one week before his 92nd birthday. Born in Ottumwa, Iowa, the son of the late Roscoe E. Taylor and Julia Goe Taylor, Bob grew up in Iowa and Missouri.

After completing high school in St, Joseph, Missouri, Bob came east to attend Princeton University. A proud member of the class of 1953, he formed some of his deepest and most abiding friendships at Princeton. Upon graduation, he moved to New York City and pursued a career in banking, eventually becoming Vice President for Personal Banking at Morgan Guaranty. In 1959, Bob married his lifelong love Jane Keating. They were married for 57 years, until her death in 2016.

In 1961, Bob and Jane bought a farmhouse on Mountain Rest Road in New Paltz, where they happily spent all their weekends and holidays with their sons Brigham and Jason and an ever-growing circle of friends. It was here that they developed the passions for cooking and entertaining that were to have such a big impact on their lives, while continuing to work and raise their sons in Manhattan.

While on vacation in Scotland in 1976, Bob and Jane came upon a spectacularly situated old manor house in the Highlands that was for sale. Thus began the next phase in their lives. They left New York City and, following their passions, they opened Ardsheal House, a gracious and comfortable country house hotel that served some of Scotland’s most innovative food. They ran Ardsheal House for eighteen years, returning to New Paltz each winter.

After retiring in 1994 and returning to live in New Paltz full time, Bob devoted his energies to supporting the local community, serving on the boards of both Elting Memorial Library and Wallkill Valley Land Trust. As president of the WVLT board, he shepherded the organization through a vast expansion of its scope and mission, overseeing projects like the acquisition and refurbishment of the Rosendale Trestle. Bob was also a great dog lover and was a member of the Westminster Kennel Club for over 50 years. He took great joy in helping to put on their annual dog show.

Bob was predeceased by his sisters Mary Helen Taylor Anderson and Jean Taylor Morton. He is survived by his sons Brigham Taylor and Jason Taylor, daughter-in-law Stella Deen, grandchildren Claire Deen Taylor and Luke Deen Taylor (all of New Paltz), and Solo the whippet, the last in a long line of beloved canine companions. He will be fondly remembered for his good humor, his community spirit, and his great capacity for friendship.

Graveside service will be private, and a gathering in celebration of Bob’s life will be held on Saturday, January 7, 2023, from 1 to 4 p.m., at Copeland-Hammerl Funeral Home, 162 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, NY. Contributions may be made in Bob’s memory to the Wallkill Valley Land Trust at wallkillvalleylt.org/donate.

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