D.O.V.E. Fund - Veteran
Jim Taylor

 Jim Taylor

 U.S. Army

 D.O.V.E. Fund Founding Member


Jim Taylor  
James Edmund Taylor Sr. (1945-2019)

James Edmund Taylor, Sr., a United Auto Workers Local 1892 retiree who was a decorated Army combat veteran of the Vietnam War, a dedicated advocate for veterans’ rights, and a founder of a nonprofit Vietnam charity, died Sunday in Ebeid Hospice Residence at Flower Hospital. He was 73.

The elder Mr. Taylor retired in 2007 after about 30 years of service at Ford Motor Corp.’s former Maumee Stamping Plant, where he started as a machine repairman and later was a UAW skilled-trades bargaining committee member and most lately a UAW health-and-safety representative for 17 years.

While at the plant, he was also the chairman of the local union’s veterans committee.

Additionally, he was a past chairman of Region 2-B’s Veterans Advisory Council, a position he held for 15 years.

In retirement, Mr. Taylor served as the national president of the UAW Veterans Advisory Council for several years until the time of death.

He was a recipient of the UAW’s Walter P. Reuther Distinguished Service Award given “for extraordinary contributions to advance the cause of working people, their families and communities.”

“He spent every day doing something for someone else ... ,” Robert Perkins, a friend, said. “He was just a giving man. I don't know if that was from his Army experience or not. He was just a people's person.”

In 2012, Mr. Taylor won a Jefferson Award for his volunteerism. The award is sponsored locally by The Blade, Buckeye Broadband, and WTOL-TV Channel 11.

The Blade wrote at the time that he accepted his award the Toledo Club in the same quiet way he volunteers at his church and works with a charity that helps the poor in Vietnam.

"I just do what I think is right," Mr. Taylor told The Blade after the awards breakfast.

Mr. Taylor volunteered three days a week at the Hospitality Kitchen at his parish, Our Lady of Lourdes, at the time.

In 2000, he and seven other Vietnam War veterans started a charity that blossomed into the DOVE Fund — Development of Vietnam Endeavors. During the first 12 years of its existence, the DOVE Fund had raised about $2.5 million and built 43 schools, three medical clinics, and five clean water systems in Vietnam.

Mr. Taylor told The Blade he had lost a good friend in Vietnam, was wounded in combat, and thought he would never want to return to Vietnam. "These people are the most loving people, friendly people," he said. "It's just unbelievable."

He visited Vietnam five times in retirement.

Said U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo): “He turned his grief and memory into solid accomplishments for people halfway around the world in Vietnam who would never know his name. He turned his memory into commitment to rebuild a war-torn part of the world, especially for the children who were born after the war.”

Mr. Taylor also volunteered for The Old Newsboys.

“Jim was my hero,” his sister Mary Ellen Taylor said. “He did all generous things because he felt it should be done. He wanted the world to be a different place and I think he learned this from his experiences in Vietnam. The war really marked him as a man.”

“Jim was a very quiet person,” she said, adding that he never talked about Vietnam and was also “very quiet” about whatever he was working on, be it his volunteering or the DOVE endeavor.

Mr. Taylor was born Oct. 16, 1945, in Toledo to John and Veronica Taylor.

In 1964, he graduated from Central Catholic High School and and held several menial jobs until he was drafted in the Army in January of 1966.

Mr. Taylor served with a long-range reconnaissance scout platoon in the Second Battalion of the Eighth Cavalry Regiment (Airmobile) of the First Cavalry Division until his honorable discharge in January of 1968 with the rank of specialist and numerous medals. They included two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars, one of which had a “V” Device for heroic efforts in saving his platoon sergeant.

Mr. Taylor was very proud of his military service but was reserved about his personal actions, his son said.

He was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8598 and American Legion Murbach-Siefert Post 479, both in Swanton.

In his free time, Mr. Taylor enjoyed fishing Kabinakagami Lake in Northern Ontario, Canada, his son said.

Mike Sigov - The Blade - sigov@theblade.com



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