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Col. Stillman Vaughan "Bud" Taylor, Jr., USAF (Ret)

Obituary for Col. Stillman Vaughan "Bud" Taylor, Jr., USAF (Ret)

November 7, 1930 - January 8, 2017
San Antonio, Texas | Age 86

Obituary

Colonel (ret.) Stillman Vaughan "Bud" Taylor, Jr., died peacefully on January 8, 2017, with devoted family at his side. He was 86.

Bud was born in Austin on November 7, 1930, to Stillman Vaughan Taylor, Sr., and Lila Garrett Taylor. He graduated from high school in Burnet, Texas, in 1947. While in high school, he took flying lessons and solo piloted an Aeronca Champion airplane when he was just 14 years old.

After attending junior college at Kemper Military School in Missouri, he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1951 with a BBA degree. He was in the Air Force ROTC program in college and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force Reserves upon graduation. That summer he was also married to the former Patricia Ann Brown of Bertram, with whom he had his two daughters, Priscilla and Pamela.

Soon after graduation, Bud was called to active duty in the Korean Conflict and began a distinguished career in service to his country as a fighter pilot. He flew two tours of duty in Korea. He continued on active duty integrated into the regular Air Force and served a total of 28 ½ years, retiring at the end of 1979 with the rank of Colonel.

During his career, Bud was stationed overseas in Korea, Japan, Germany, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as many bases in the U.S. He was Squadron Commander of the 10th TFS at Hahn Air Base in Germany during 1969-70. He flew three tours of duty in Vietnam and was the Base Commander of Bien Hoa AFB in Vietnam during 1972-73. He retired from Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, where he was Base Commander, in 1979.

He loved to fly and logged over 4,000 flying hours during his career. He flew the F-86, F-102 and other jets over the years. But his favorite was the F-4 Phantom, the workhorse for fighter pilots in Vietnam.

Colonel Taylor was highly decorated for his service, earning among other honors the Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Korean Service Medal, Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Vietnam Air Force Honor Medal.

He was a humble man and did not talk much about what he had seen or accomplished. One had to ask direct questions to hear harrowing stories of flying over the Red River into North Vietnam and dodging surface-to-air missiles, or seeing his fellow pilots' planes shot down. He had a personal business card in retirement that had this quotation on it: "For those who have fought for it, life has a flavor the protected never know."

After his military career, he worked in Austin for the Texas Commission for the Blind, retiring in 1990 as Director of Audit/Evaluation. He remarried in 1983 to the former Mae Beth Soden, and moved to San Antonio.

Colonel Taylor was proud of his Texas heritage. His great-great-grandfather, William Stanhope Taylor, fought in Sam Houston's army at the Battle of San Jacinto.

Bud was an avid golfer. He loved watching Texas Longhorns football games. He had a keen mind and was a master at working crossword puzzles. He was a wise investor. He chose to live modestly, but gave generously to his family. He was a great man with a strong sense of duty, honor, patriotism, and love for his family and country.

He was preceded in death by his father, Stillman V. Taylor, Sr.; his step-father, William R. Kuykendall; his mother, Lila Taylor Kuykendall; his brother, William C. Kuykendall; and his second wife, Mae Beth Taylor.

He is survived by sons-in-law and daughters, Glynn and Priscilla Ervin of Arlington, and Dean and Pamela Wilkerson of Coppell; three step-children; his sister, Judy Kuykendall of Burnet; and his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom he loved and of whom he was very proud.

A memorial service for this remarkable man will be held on Monday, January 16, at 12:30 PM, at Porter Loring Mortuary North, 2102 North Loop 1604 East, San Antonio, Texas. Afterwards, Colonel Taylor will be buried with full military honors at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. Memorials may be made in Colonel Taylor's honor to the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Scholarship Fund (www.river-rats.org).

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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