Friends and neighbors celebrated a birthday milestone Monday for a World War II veteran who turned 100.
About 10 carloads of people drove by, honking and waving at Jim Taylor to mark his special day. A second group of his wife’s bridge club were slated to drive by later.
Still, it’s not the birthday celebration Taylor expected due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It ruined my whole party,” Taylor said.
He and his wife, Lynn, had to postpone his party, and are planning a celebration with about 70 people in September, so long as COVID-19 cooperates.
Taylor was born May 18, 1920, in California. As a teenager he listened to theoretical physicist Albert Einstein speak, and was able to watch aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh land an aircraft.
After two years of college, in 1942 Taylor enlisted in the Army Air Corps, where he was a weather officer after attending a special training school. He achieved the rank of first lieutenant and was stationed at an airport in Egypt, he said.
He served until 1947 and then returned to college to become a physicist. He worked on the Manhattan Project and came to the Dayton area in 1967 to work at the Mound Laboratories in Miamisburg.
He was married for 60 years before his first wife died. They raised four children.
In the community, Taylor sang with the choir at David’s United Church of Christ from 1967 to 2016, volunteered for more than 20 years at Kettering Medical Center and was known as an avid cyclist well into his 80s.
Now, he still stays active walking and getting outdoors and enjoys riding his three-wheeled scooter.
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