Christmas Memories of 2004

Shared by Paul D Williams on December 5, 2017


Dear Uncle Donald

Christmas Time is just not the same anymore with You, Mom and Dad gone from this physical life.

I sure did enjoy the Christmas I was able to bring Mom over to see you all for Christmas week that year.

You sure made Mom's Day. She was laughing so hard as you kept opening your gifts from your family sitting in your chair by the door. I could tell that you were both living and enjoying life 'back in the day' when you both were just kids yourselves.

Lord your are missed sir. God Bless you Uncle Donald.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and all our family that you are with was well as those still here in the physical world.

Love and miss you. I'll always hold my memories of you close.

My Lasting Memories

Shared by Paul D Williams on November 20, 2012

I lost a Great Friend, a Brother Marine and a Loving Uncle when you passed Uncle Donald - another 2 weeks and it will have been a full year since you left us, to be with God and Aunt Irene.

I am so glad that your suffering is no more, and that you are home with the Lord and Aunt Irene."

Uncle Donald, I miss your presence in my world so much; and I will never lose my memories of you.

Semper Fi' Marine;

Paul D. Williams (Nephew)

Master Sergeant, USMC (Ret)
Glasgow, Kentucky

Remember me

Shared by Diane Murphy on January 19, 2012

 Now that I am gone,
remember me with smiles and laughter.
And if you need to cry,
cry with your brother or sister
who walks in grief beside you.
And when you need me,
put your arms around anyone
and give to them what you need to give to me.
There are so many who need so much.
I want to leave you something --
something much better than words or sounds.
Look for me in the people I've known
or helped in some special way.
Let me live in your heart
as well as in your mind.
You can love me most
by letting your love reach out to our loved ones,
by embracing them and living in their love.
Love does not die, people do.
So, when all that's left of me is love,
give me away as best you can.

Two Marines on a Porch

Shared by Paul D Williams on December 13, 2011

This photo was taken during one of my leave trips from Camp LeJeune, NC.

I hadn't seen Uncle Donald and his family in sometime while on active duty, so I took 11 days and went to Matewan, WV; Also on this trip was my Mother, Ruby Taylor and several of my siblings. 

Three weeks after this photo I retired after 23 1/2 years; Active Duty, USMC and returned home to SC.  This is when I was able to start making more frequent trips back home.

PS... Personally, I can't remember being that skinny; Two good looking Marines though, don't you think.


Donald Taylor Community and Disaster Ceter

Shared by Paul D Williams on December 13, 2011

Williamson Daily News - P.O. Box 1660
100 Block East 3rd Avenue
Williamson, WV 25661

New Community and Disaster Center holds Grand Opening
by JOSHUA MURPHY Staff Writer
Posted: 14 Aug 2010

20 August 2010
Glasgow, Kentucky

To the readers of the Williamson Daily News:

I’ve been reminiscing about a trip that I recently made to attend the Grand Opening Ceremony for the Donald Taylor Community and Disaster Center on 13 August 2010 in N. Matewan, WV.  This center was named in honor of my Uncle – Donald Taylor; I was very proud of him to say the least.

This ceremony had an attendance of close to 100 community members and family; there were several dignitaries present and spoke to the attendees about the importance of the center and said that, “it could not have been named after a more deserving Matewan Citizen”; also a spokesman from the Office of West Virginia Governor, Joe Manchin.  Uncle Donald was really thrilled to find that he was selected as the namesake for the center.

When they posted the colors and played the National Anthem, not only did I stand proud as Donald’s nephew but also as a brother Marine to share this moment with him.  As I watched I could see his family, as well as the Marine Corps pride swell in Corporal Donald Taylor, as it should have; and his tears began to fall; tears of joy that his life had actually stood for something.

Donald’s daughters and their families were present and their pride in their father and grandfather was very high; and I can assure you that his lovely wife, Aunt Irene’s presence was with him as well, as she is with him always.  Were there any dry eyes in the room, I couldn’t say as I was having similar problems of my own.

Although Donald and I were separated by just one generation of our family tree, we were several generations apart as Brother Marines; however, in the end all Marines are “Soldiers of the Sea,” and I would have been proud to have served alongside Uncle Donald.

Donald Taylor served during one of America’s Great Wars (WWII).  Donald helped set the bar with his dedication to duty and his honorable service to his country, for the coming generations of Marines to follow in his footsteps.  While serving during some of America’s most hard fought battles and earning several awards, he survived to come home to raise a beautiful family.  It was great seeing all of my cousins again; Bonnie Jean, Donna, Dreama, Diana and their families; some I’ve never met before, but we all stood together in our pride for their father.

My Mother, Ruby Taylor, made me aware of an incident when I was just two years of age while living in McCarr, KY.  I became very sick with some type of stomach virus and not being able to get me to the hospital, she called on her brother Donald for help.  Had it not been for this great man, I would not have been here to attend his honor ceremony that day.

Uncle Donald, I admire everything that you stand for as a Man, as a Father and as a true Marine; a person of integrity and honor, a wonderful family man and a wonderful Uncle; loved, and admired by his family and the entire community.  My life would not have been complete without you in it – I thank you with all my heart for all that you have done for my Mom and our family.

In my 23 years of service with my beloved Corps of Marines, I have witnessed many situations where we take care of our own; but on the 13th of August 2010, I was blessed with being able to witness on a most personal setting, yet another fitting tribute to the term; “Marines take care of their own.”  There was not a truer example in all my Marine training than this one moment, where it was proven that we, as Marines, live up to this very important part of our heritage.  A Marine of the Past was Present that day, to take care of and look after his troops of the Future.

And, for the Marines present during this ceremony that have been there and knew, felt each and every one of our past heroes of the United States Marine Corps, standing shoulder to shoulder with Uncle Donald, as we honored him for his dedicated service to our country and to his community.

There were more than just a few Marines in that room that day.  There was a whole Corps of Marines; “Past, Present, and Future.”

Thank you Corporal Donald Taylor, “for being there,” you made this Marines’ Day.


Uncle Donald's Eulogy

Shared by Paul D Williams on December 10, 2011

 Donald Taylor

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4, KJV)

A Marine is chosen by God.

He is chosen because he lives, sacrifices and dies for others.  He is committed to the cause of freedom and he surrenders to no one but God.

His commitment to his family is linked to his commitment to his Country and his Community because he helps to build the foundation for which they live.

Semper Fi” – “Always Faithful,” is the motto of Marines – and certainly goes without question of this Marine and the way in which he lived his life, as he has stood by his family, Country and Community through thick and thin during his lifetime.

I have known Marines from multiple generations but I have had the personal privilege to know, love, and be loved by a Man that would surpass anyone’s expectations of what an Uncle should be.

Uncle Donald was, is, and always will be remembered as a Great Husband, a Great Father, a Great Uncle, and a Great Marine.  He never gave up his colors, and over the years, he has taught me what those colors mean.  He showed me that Tenacity is not something he wished for, but was a gift from our heavenly father; Respect was something that you developed during your lifetime for all things of life, and of people; and that Integrity is something which means that you will do the “Right thing, whether anyone is watching or not.” 

Donald Taylor, being born Feb 1921, became a great Husband, Father, Brother, Uncle, Friend, and Mentor because of the fact that he was a Great Marine!  Uncle Donald once told me that there are only Good Marines and Great Marines; and with some objection from Uncle Donald, I would have to say that he was one of those Great Marines. He lived his life for his family and Community during these last years of his life - maybe not in a physical way, but surely in his heart, mind and spirit.

Sometimes when I visited, we would talk about Politics, Family, and even a few times he would talk to me about his part of the War.  Donald was not very open to talking about the war with many people, but sparingly he entrusted me with a few of his ventures and of the wisdoms he learned of during his time in ‘The Corps,” and many of his years here in Matewan.

During one of our talks I told Uncle Donald that, “I wished I could have served with you; I would have been so proud to stand beside you as a brother Marine.”  He glared back at me and said, “Son, you have served with me; through the Corps.  We have all been to hell and back, and you have shown the integrity of the best Marines I ever served with.”  Although I have only known OF the Marines of Uncle Donald’s era, I knew exactly what he meant and I cannot tell you how special those words made me feel – Semper Fi’ Uncle Donald.

There was so much more to many of those conversations, but I believed them to be trusted conversations then, so they will remain so, forever.

My relationship with Uncle Donald runs very deep.  I remember the story of how Uncle Donald saved my life when I was just 2 years of age.  Donald’s younger Sister; my mother Ruby Taylor, was unable to locate my father when I took extremely ill, so Donald immediately answered my mother’s call for help and he immediately took us to the Hospital.  They were told, “Had Uncle Donald not responded to my mother’s call, I would surely have died that evening”; thank you Uncle Donald.

Over the 90 years of his life, Uncle Donald has always provided for his immediate and extended families.  Just recently, we had our Family Reunion in August 2011, during this visit home my mother and her brother Donald had some time to visit and reminisce about their lives.  I discovered that Uncle Donald had been the one to pay for ALL his sister’s wedding dresses with money he earned while working in the Matewan Pool Hall.  Only at that time did I realize just how the people of those earlier times, of this community were hurting and could not afford much, but Uncle Donald found a way to take care of his family with what he had, and he did it right.

There are I am sure many stories that exist between many of you and my Uncle Donald, and endearing as they are, I know they will be with you forever.

I know that many times Donald was made aware of his many blessing and of the many times he has surely stared death square in the face; you know with all those times of cheating death, the Lord must have finally figured out he was going to have to sneak up on this Marine to take him home.  God Bless you Uncle Donald.

We have all heard the words Semper Fi’ from Marines, and others; but many still do not know what it truly means.  Semper Fi' comes from the Latin words; “Semper Fidelis” which means “Always Faithful,” and I cannot find other words that describe my Uncle Donald more accurately.

Donald’s qualities of life are evident in his family life that he had with his lovely wife Irene, their children and Grandchildren.  It is not just family that Donald has influenced in this way, but all of you here in this gathering; Donald’s love for his family was very strong, and he always talked about how blessed he was to have such an incredible family.  Believe me he would tell everyone, even strangers standing in line with him at the grocery store or at the post office.  This is how he introduced me to a cousin that I had never met until that day at the N. Matewan Post Office with him back in 2004; Jerry DeHart and I now talk whenever I'm able to call back home.

We also know Donald to be of light heart, bright spirited and full of laughs.  He really did not put much thought into what people thought of him because he assumed the best in everyone.  He did not pass judgment on others and so it was difficult to pass judgment against him.  This is a tenant of God that Donald seemed to effortlessly adhere.

So, while today we reflect with a smile on the many memories we have of Uncle Donald, of the many of you that knew and loved him; Uncle Donald would describe himself as a simple man that clung to his guns and his Bible, and of course taking care of his family.

There are so many stories that could be told about Uncle Donald and I am sure you will hear many more.  Each time I visited or talked to Uncle Donald on the phone, I realized that almost every story I could remember or one that was told to me about him brought a huge smile to my face.  Although we may be sad today for losing Uncle Donald’s physical presence, we need to remember that it was Uncle Donald’s personality and his love for laughter that he would want us to remember here today – Uncle Donald would want us to celebrate his graduation of life; His homecoming to Heaven.

A Quote:

"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.   ~ Kahlil Gibran

I was going to deliver this Eulogy for Uncle Donald at his Church Service, but with him lying there, so close to the podium, this Marine was just not able to muster up what it took to deliver it in person. So with a broken heart, I can only hope that the rest of his loving family and friends will accept this Eulogy in this light.

I am so thankful for my memories of Uncle Donald, and honestly, putting these words down was one of the most difficult things I think I have ever done.  Not because it was hard to find things to say about Uncle Donald, but to recall his life as I knew it, and his impact on me, and of course all of you, simply made it difficult and trivial to try to summarize such a great man in just a few minutes.

Right now, I can hear Uncle Donald’s voice in the back of my head saying;

“Paul, a simple “Semper Fi,” Will do.”

Semper Fi’ Uncle Donald - I love you and already miss your physical presence in my world.

You are missed, but will never be forgotten Marine.


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