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Paul Taylor, 1958-2012

The funeral will be at 7pm Thursday at Oak Grove United Methodist Church.

A. S. Turner & Sons Funeral Home in Decatur has provided this obituary for Paul Taylor, 53, the .

Paul Holton Taylor died April 30, 2012, in Atlanta, Georgia, following a cycling accident.  He was born on May 20, 1958, in Passaic, New Jersey, the son of Virginia Avadine Holton Taylor and James Lon Taylor.

Spending his childhood in Lincoln, Nebraska and his youth in Augusta, Georgia, he graduated from Butler High School in Augusta in 1975.  Mr. Taylor received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Augusta College in 1984 and Bachelor of Science degree in physician assistant from Georgia Health Sciences University (formerly Medical College of Georgia) in 1986.  In 1989, he earned his certification from the National Commission of Physician’s Assistants.

Mr. Taylor was a physician’s assistant in neonatology and a champion of women’s health at Grady Health System for over twenty years.  Concurrently, he was a clinical instructor in the Physician Assistant Program with Emory University School of Medicine for the past twenty years.  He received the Teacher of the Year Award from the Physician Assistant Program of Emory University in 1993.

He married Barbara Hathcock on August 19, 1995 in Atlanta. Together, rather than focus simply on the pursuit of happiness, Mr. Taylor dedicated his attention to the discovery of joy.  He was an avid sportsman who enjoyed annual winter ski trips with the family and competitive golf with gentlemen. 

In recent years he was a triathlete and marathoner whose passion encouraged others to participate.  His love of his own children and personal leadership skills motivated him to coach children and youth in soccer at the Cobb Football Club and basketball at Clairmont Presbyterian Church. When not on the sideline coaching in the fall, his favorite place to be on Saturdays was in Athens watching his beloved Georgia Bulldogs play football.

Mr. Taylor believed a person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world.  By this standard, he is indeed a wealthy man.

He was a committed Christian practicing his faith as an active member and leader of Oak Grove United Methodist Church in Decatur, Georgia where he served as President of the United Methodist Men.  He exercised his spiritual gift of teaching by leading Disciple Bible Study, mentoring children and youth, and teaching the Christian Families Sunday School class for twenty years. 

Mr. Taylor was Chairman of the annual Oak Grove United Methodist Church Barbeque for the past decade.  In this role, he was fondly regarded as Boss Hog for his selfless dedication in directing this event while managing over 600 volunteers who fed over 5,000 participants annually. 

During last year’s BBQ (its 50th anniversary), he garnered national media attention to the church through an interview published by The New York Times.  

Mr. Taylor’s love of God and passion for serving others outside of the local community led him on mission expeditions to Honduras and more recently to Sierra Leone to provide medicines and clinical care to the impoverished and indigent.  Mr. Taylor lived by the personal spiritual principle - unless a man undertakes more than he possibly can do, he will never do all that he can.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara Hathcock Taylor of Atlanta; son Ben Taylor of Augusta; daughter Rachel Taylor of Rome; daughter Kelley Taylor of Atlanta; and, daughter Grace Taylor of Atlanta.  Additionally, predeceased by his father, the late James Lon Taylor, he is survived by his mother Virginia Avadine Holton Taylor of Augusta; and, brothers James Lon Taylor, Jr. of Warrenville, SC and Arthur Mark Taylor of Rincon, GA.

There will be two family visitations: Wednesday, May 2, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at A. S. Turner & Sons Funeral Home in Decatur and Thursday, May 3, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of Oak Grove United Methodist Church in Decatur.  Please note that these visitations are at different locations.  A memorial service will be held Thursday, May 3, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. at Oak Grove United Methodist Church in Decatur.  There will be a private family burial.

Those wishing to celebrate the remarkable life and Christian faith of Mr. Taylor may make contributions in his memory to the Oak Grove United Methodist Church Youth Ministry. 

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