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Edwin Taylor, Philadelphia-area hospital administrator, dies at 102

“He was a very caring and loving person," a daughter said. "I got phone calls from people at Jefferson who had worked under him, and they just described him as kind and a wonderful mentor."

Edwin Taylor
Edwin TaylorRead moreCourtesy of the Taylor family

Edwin L. Taylor 102, a well-known administrator of Philadelphia hospitals, died Saturday, July 3, of heart failure at Freedom Village, a senior living community in West Brandywine.

A leader in the city and state hospital community, Mr. Taylor was respected and well-liked by the people who worked under him.

“He was a very caring and loving person. I got phone calls from people at Jefferson who had worked under him, and they just described him as kind and a wonderful mentor,” said daughter Barbara Kondrath. “They just said he was a special individual.”

When he retired, she said, even the attendants in the parking garage signed a card to send him off and wish him well.

“He was a friend to all different levels.”

Born in Queens, N.Y., Mr. Taylor was raised in Ridgefield Park, N.J., the middle child of Charles and Rae Kyle Taylor. As a youngster, he enjoyed sports and academics, and studied violin. He was also proud to have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

Mr. Taylor attended Rutgers University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature, contemplating a future in education.

During his time at Rutgers, he was captain of the touch football team, a resident adviser, student council officer, and a member of the swim team, glee club and Scarlet Key and Scarlet Barbarians Honor Societies.

During his undergraduate summers, he worked as a counselor at Camp-of-the-Woods, a music and Bible camp in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. There he met his future wife, Edith Carlson, who was visiting her brother, another counselor and Mr. Taylor’s tentmate. “Edie” became a nurse, and they wed in 1943. They were married 64 years until her death in 2008.

After leaving Rutgers, Mr. Taylor started graduate studies in English literature at the University of Chicago. That was interrupted when he was drafted into the Army during World War II. He did not see combat. Rather, he was assigned to military hospitals stateside and in the Philippines, including in leadership roles.

He resumed his studies after the war, earning a master’s in hospital administration at Columbia University.

He later completed a one-year administrative residency at Graduate Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. When its director left, Mr. Taylor, at age 29, was given the job. After that post, he moved to Thomas Jefferson University, and became the chief executive officer of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. In 1976, he became vice president for business affairs for Thomas Jefferson University, a post he held until 1983.

Mr. Taylor also served the hospital community on various councils, including as president of the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania. He received a life membership to the American Hospital Association and was named a Life Fellow of the American College of Hospital Administrators.

Mr. Taylor was devoted to his family as well.

As his wife struggled with Alzheimer’s disease, he kept her home with him as long as possible, his daughter said. When Mr. Taylor was in independent living at Freedom Village, and Mrs. Taylor was in the skilled nursing section, their daughter said, he would visit her every day and made sure to kiss her every night.

“He took care of my mother like you wouldn’t believe,” she said. “He was a wonderful person.”

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Taylor is also survived by daughter Beverly Taylor; two grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and other relatives. His parents and sisters died earlier.

A service was held Monday, July 12.

Donations in Mr. Taylor’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Delaware Valley Chapter, 399 Market St., #250, Philadelphia, Pa. 19106.