Cover photo for Arnold W. Taylor's Obituary
Arnold W. Taylor Profile Photo
1937 Arnold 2022

Arnold W. Taylor

September 20, 1937 — January 31, 2022

Arnold “Arnie” W. Taylor, 84, made his final road trip to heaven on January 31, 2022 in Rockford, Illinois. Born in Dysart, Iowa on September 20, 1937 son to William and Irma (Burrows) Taylor. He graduated from Geneseo Consolidated High School in 1955. Arnie grew up on the family farm just north of Dysart, Iowa. It was there that he grew up into the man he was to become. He had a strong moral fiber and always directed his children down the proper path. He was never afraid to call “bulls**t” when dealing with people that he loved and cared about. While growing up on the farm he loved riding his horses, buying new vehicles and most loved buying and selling cattle. He even had the chance to sell cattle at the Chicago Stock Yard as a young man. An event he would talk about for the remainder of his life.

Arnie went on to attend the University of Nebraska where he studied Animal Husbandry and then University of Iowa where he studied general studies. Arnie never received a degree from either school. He preferred to learn from life lessons and hands on experiences. He was a smart man with a great deal of common sense in a world that didn’t always make sense. He held several degrees from the “University of Life”.

On September 6, 1959, Arnie married Virginia “Ginny” Lea Held in Geneva, Iowa. They were married until 1993 when they divorced. Even after the divorce they remained friends and would help each other especially as they grew older. They would both attend family activities for the holidays, special events or just because. Thanksgiving and Christmas were his favorite holidays with his family.

Arnie started his career with F. H. Woolworth's as store manager responsible for opening new stores. He worked in stores in Loves Park, LaSalle Peru, Des Plaines, Crystal Lake, Dekalb and finally Rockford, Illinois. He loved the hustle and bustle of retail stores. He was always helpful to his staff and customers. He then transitioned to heavy construction equipment sales for mines, quarries, and infrastructure. During this time in his life, he worked for several different companies including Eighmy Equipment Company, Mid-State Power, A.H. Puffer Company, Quarry Supplies and finally McAllister Equipment Company where he retired in 2011. While at McAllister, he sold and leased Volvo Construction Equipment. His grandsons loved to visit his work and climb up on the large dump trucks and backhoes.

Arnie was never one to sit around idle. After retirement, he started a small business selling supplies to quarry operators for rock crushing equipment and conveyors. He could literally layout the design of a conveyor on the back of a napkin. He ran this business out of his home until his death. He was even calling clients from his hospital bed during the final weeks of his life. His suppliers and customers will miss his high level of customer service.

In the 70’s, Arnie had a brief period of selling wholesale food for Standard Foods in Belvidere, Illinois. He helped the owner Lyle Osolin build the business helping to add new customers and new product lines. He was also involved in the relocation from Rockford to Belvidere. Even helping to dismantle the large coolers and freezers and reassembling them at the new Belvidere warehouse. He loved delivering food in his red 1976 Ford Econoline Cargo Van to bakeries, restaurants and cafeterias in northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin. In the summers and when his school schedule allowed, his son Rodney would ride along as his helper to deliver food. Their favorite lunch stop was McDonalds for a Quarter Pounder with Cheese with French fries.

Arnie enjoyed traveling, camping, and fishing. He was especially passionate about finding joy in the beauty of nature in all seasons. Dad loved to find less traveled roads and could be counted on to show his family and friends an especially beautiful spot that he had found. Fall was his favorite season of the year. He loved traveling the backroads of Wisconsin to see the changing leaves. He was simply amazed each year by the abundance of color and could repeatedly be heard saying the leaves this year are “SUPER FANTASTIC”! One of his favorite vacations was traveling to Yellow National Park and Grand Tetons National Park with his son and grandsons taking in the beauty of the parks and the wildlife there. He was involved in the lives of his daughter and granddaughter as well. Dad taught his granddaughter to fish at Pierce Lake, and he was so proud when she caught her first fish! Elizabeth was the only granddaughter of Arnie’s, and she had a special place in his heart. He enjoyed making her laugh, and she enjoyed baking special treats for him. As a child Elizabeth stacked the creamers found on the table at restaurants. As she grew older, she enjoyed doing it just to get Grandpa to smile and shake his head at her. She especially enjoyed swiping Grandpa’s ball caps, wearing it for a while, then returning it to him 3 sizes too small. He was such a big help to both his daughter and granddaughter through the years. He bought Elizabeth her first big-girl bed, a couple of scientific calculators, and could always be counted upon to deliver juice and soup when they were feeling under the weather.
Arnie loved meeting new people and old friends. His outgoing personality, ready smile, and his jolly ways ensured everyone felt important and appreciated by him. Dad was a very giving man, who would always help those in need. Near the end of his life, he had many medical conditions that he pushed through during the final years of his life. These included Parkinson syndrome, heart failure, and a failing left knee. Despite these ailments, he continued to help others up until the end of his life. He enjoyed helping his friends and family and would make himself available when ever needed. He would regularly check on friends especially those in need and would even call them weekly to check on them.

Arnie is survived by those who loved him most, his children Rodney and LeaAnne Taylor; former wife Virginia "Ginny" Taylor; brother Marvin (Ruth) Taylor, sister Eileen Griminger, grandchildren Alexander (Emily) Taylor; Nathanial Taylor, and Elizabeth Taylor and his many cousins, nephews, and nieces. He is predeceased by his parents Wallace and Irma Taylor.

Arnie’s family would like to thank his neighbors from across the street John and Lisa Richerson for bringing him meals and helping him with his lawn care. The family would also like to thank the staff of OSF St. Anthony Hospital and River Bluff Nursing Home for taking care of him during his final weeks of life.

A visitation will take place on Friday, February 11th, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service at 11:30 a.m. at Fitzgerald Funeral Home, 1860 S. Mulford Road, Rockford, Illinois 61108. At the conclusion of the service, extra flowers will be sent to the Cardinal Unit at the River Bluff Nursing Home so that Arnie can once again brighten the halls of the Cardinal Unit.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Arnold W. Taylor, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, February 11, 2022

10:00 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory - Mulford Chapel

1860 South Mulford Road, Rockford, IL 61108

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, February 11, 2022

11:30am - 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory - Mulford Chapel

1860 South Mulford Road, Rockford, IL 61108

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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