• 91°
franklin county times

Obituaries for Sunday, November 7, 2004

By Staff
After graduating from LSU with a degree in petroleum engineering, he worked for Texas oilman John Mecom Sr. until 1966. Later, he formed his own consulting and production company before starting Circle Bar Drilling Company with Mecom in 1974. The successful drilling contracting company was sold in 1979, at which time he founded Taylor Energy Company in New Orleans. Taylor Energy Company is one of the largest independent oil companies in the Gulf of Mexico to explore for and produce oil and natural gas in federal offshore waters in the Gulf. In March of 1988, he was asked to speak to 183 underachieving and troubled inner-city seventh- and eighth-graders who planned to drop out of school. Remembering the significance of his own college opportunity, he decided that he would not give a typical "role model" speech. Instead, he promised the kids that he would see to it that they went to college. They were required to stay in school, stay out of trouble and complete a college preparatory high school curriculum with a "B" average. The response from the students and their parents was overwhelming. Many went on to college and five of those students were recognized in Who's Who Among American High School Students. During the course of these efforts, he realized for the first time that an entire generation of America's low-income youth was growing up thinking that college was "for other folks." He initiated research in Louisiana to determine the reason for this belief. The study confirmed that three-quarters of Louisiana families could not afford college for their children. Moreover, this was not limited to Louisiana.
Convinced that all children are entitled to the opportunity to achieve success, he conceived and prepared legislation for the state to address the issue. The first bill introduced provided for state-paid college tuition for academically qualified students from families with an annual income of less than $25,000 (income cap has since been removed). Applicants had to complete an advanced high school core curriculum, achieve a 2.5 grade point average and a minimum score of 18 on the American College Test (raised to 20 in 1999). After a ferocious battle in the Louisiana Legislature, the bill became ACT 789 and the first "Taylor Plan" was signed into law on July 10, 1989. In Louisiana, a college education for all children was now based on their ability to learn rather than their ability to pay.
In the meantime, the national media coverage of his unique offer to the original 183 "Taylor's Kids" had attracted the attention of Mike Wallace, longtime CBS newsman. Wallace had CBS cover the legislative battle during the summer of 1989, and he personally interviewed the kids and their parents. In September of that year, 60 Minutes ran a feature on Taylor's Kids, the Taylor Plan and Taylor. The national attention caused by the story led to a flood of invitations for him to carry his message around the nation. He traveled nearly a million miles and gave thousands of speeches and interviews in support of Taylor Plan legislation. What began in Louisiana as the first state-paid, merit-based tuition program has now spread to include 19 states with Taylor Plan programs, including Mississippi. In 1986, he founded the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, a philanthropic organization benefiting education, law enforcement, military, community charitable organizations and other humanitarian efforts.
He received awards and honors from many organizations including the U.S. Marine Corps, Marine Forces Reserve, Marine Corps League, Department of the Navy, Veterans of Foreign Wars, U.S. Olympic Committee, Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, National Brotherhood of Christians and Jews, NAACP, Urban League, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Caring Institute, Kiwanis International, Rotary International, Volunteers of America, Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge and the National Football League. Pope John Paul II bestowed upon him the Medal of Benemerente, the highest award given by the Vatican to a non-Catholic. Numerous local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies including the FBI, U.S. Customs Service and the U.S. Secret Service have cited his efforts.
In addition to his numerous awards and honors, he had received several Honorary Doctorates from colleges and universities. He served on various boards of national charitable foundations as well as the National Petroleum Council. He was recently recognized as the first and only billionaire from Louisiana by Forbes 400 The Richest People in America list. As a poor kid from East Texas, he had never chosen to publicly emphasize his wealth, but would want to be recognized for his contributions to education, law enforcement, military and community activities.
Survivors include his wife of 39 years, Phyllis Miller Taylor; a brother, Michael P. Taylor of Houston, Texas; and a sister, Barbara G. Stevenson of Ontario, Calif.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Sibyl Partin Taylor Gayman and Alex Taylor, both of Beaumont, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Greater New Orleans Foundation, 1055 St. Charles Ave., Suite 100, New Orleans, LA 70103, in the name of the New Orleans Police Department Education Fund. All donations will be matched from the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation.
Visitation for Mississippi residents will be held from 4 p.m.-4:45 p.m. at at the Circle Bar Ranch in Foxworth.
Services for Daontrelle Rodriques Green will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Eighth Avenue Church of God with the Rev. Glenn Hall officiating. Burial will be in Sunset Memorial Gardens with Clark's Memorial Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Green, 25, of Meridian, died Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2004, in Meridian.
Survivors include his daughter, Octavia "Ta-Ta" Hearn of Meridian; his mother, Lois Green of Meridian; his father, Edward Reynolds of Birmingham; step-father, Eddie Turner of Meridian; sisters, Kalisha Reynolds of Birmingham, Felicia Green and Shawanna Green, both of Meridian; and brothers, Edward Reynolds and Shawn Reynolds, both of Birmingham.
He was preceded in death by his grandfathers, Ozie Green and Robert Simmons.
Visitation will be held Tuesday from 7 p.m.-8 p.m. at the funeral home and one hour prior to the service at the church.

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Tony Chard

News

Car show benefit helps raise needed funds

News

Russellville High School varsity cheerleaders attend UCA cheer camp

Franklin County

NWSCC receives $18,000 in grants from Dollar General Literacy Foundation

News

Russellville equine therapy visits library program

News

Steam locomotive delivery to Red Bay delayed, arrives July 1

News

Local author holds book signing at RPL

Franklin County

Former Russellville resident performs ‘Miracle Worker’

News

Presenting: Miss Phil Campbell

Franklin County

All American Tang Soo Do students recognized

News

Russellville High School students sign to pursue fine arts careers

Franklin County

Football Funday, special needs probowl take place June 15

Galleries

PHOTOS: RMS students take the stage for spring sing

News

Russellville member named among finalists for GFWC Jennie Award

East Franklin

East Franklin Junior High celebrates May 21 graduation

Belgreen

Belgreen Class of 2024 celebrates graduation

Franklin County

Local churches plan Vacation Bible School programs

Galleries

PHOTOS: Tharptown High School Wildcats graduate

Galleries

PHOTOS: Phil Campbell High School students graduate

Franklin County

NEMCC announces more than 400 to spring vice president’s list

Franklin County

UNA releases spring dean’s, president’s lists

News

Roxy holds June 15 concert, plans other events

Franklin County

Free summer meal program available at Franklin County Schools

News

PHOTOS: Red Bay High School graduates celebrate

x