Stephen M. Taylor, 68, of Jamison, a camp director and crafter, died Friday, May 28, of Parkinson’s disease at Abington Jefferson Health Hospice in Warminster.
Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Taylor was the fifth of 10 children to James and Rosemarie Ely Taylor. He graduated from Bucks County Community College and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Temple University.
Growing up in such a large family played a formative role in the man Mr. Taylor became.
“Family was everything to him,” said Mary Ellen Bygott Taylor, his wife of 44 years.
As a young man, Mr. Taylor went to work for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as a counselor at St. Gabriel Hall, a facility for delinquent youth, and as a teacher at St. Francis Home, a residential program for youth in foster care.
“He wanted to have an impact on kids who didn’t have any kind of male role model and work with them, help them, and put them in a better place,” his wife said. “He had a father he looked up to.”
The young people under his care meant so much to him, she said, that boys he counseled at St. Gabriel were invited to their wedding and attended.
“It was important to him to have them there,” his wife said.
His goals of working with youth were further realized when he went to work at the archdiocese’s Camp Neumann, a now-closed camp and retreat facility. He eventually became camp director and a member of the American Camp Association, serving as a conference leader and accreditor.
Mr. Taylor also volunteered with youth through the Christian Youth Organization, the Cub Scouts, the Boy Scouts, the Warwick Township Parks and Recreation Board and the board of the Middle Bucks Institute of Technology.
Creativity was one of Mr. Taylor’s strongest qualities.
“He was always into art and crafting and woodworking, even in high school,” his wife said. “When he was older, he had the time to study it more, so he took all kinds of classes at Bucks County Community College. The timing was right at that point.”
Mr. Taylor made all sorts of gifts for the members of his extensive clan, including the legion of nieces and nephews. For one sister’s Shore house, he made a stained-glass ocean scene with a lighthouse. For a niece, he painted a likeness of her home on an old-fashioned milk jug.
“He always made the things about the people he was making them for,” his wife said.
Family or friend, Mr. Taylor never wanted anybody to feel left out.
“He always looked to bring everybody into the circle, to have everybody participate or be part of the group, to feel that they were wanted and needed,” his wife said. “He was basically always happy, always looking for the best in everyone. I say to my boys, ‘Dad wanted everyone included, no matter what.’ If they were miserable to him, he didn’t care. He was still trying to make everyone buddies.”
In addition to his wife, Mr. Taylor is survived by his sons, Zachary, Matt and Patrick; seven siblings; and many other relatives. His parents, a brother and a sister died earlier.
A Funeral Mass was held Monday, June 7.
Donations may be made in Mr. Taylor’s honor to the Warwick Fire Company, 2390 York Rd., Jamison, Pa., 18929.