Frederick Wayne Taylor Sr. was born September 2, 1939 and passed this life on March 22, 2014. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Sonjia Blount Taylor of Port St. Joe, his daughter, Cristie Taylor (Morris) of Panama City, his son Rick Taylor (Libia) and grandson Alex of Port St. Joe. He was preceded in death by his parents, O.M. Sr. and Forrest Taylor, and his brother, Melton Taylor.
After spending his early childhood in Apalachicola, Wayne moved to Port St. Joe at a young age. Under the tutelage of R. Marion Craig, Wayne became a standout athlete at Port St. Joe High School and he earned a football scholarship to the University of Georgia where he played fullback and linebacker. He was privileged to play on the 1959 Orange Bowl championship team. After earning his degree in physical education, Wayne had a 19-year coaching and teaching career. He returned to his high school alma mater in 1965 as head coach and athletic director and was successful in building a stalwart program, garnering the Class 2A State Championship in 1971 with a perfect 13-0 record. Following a rewarding 17 seasons with the Sharks, he joined his wife in the family business and together they owned and operated St. Joe Furniture Company, following in the footsteps of her father, John Blount.
Wayne was a Christian by faith and was committed to a life of service in his professional as well as his private life. He was president of the Port St. Joe Downtown Redevelopment Agency at the time Reid Avenue was revitalized. He had also been a long-time member of the Port St. Joe Rotary Club. Wayne taught Sunday school all of his adult life until ill health did not permit. He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church Port St. Joe where a memorial celebration of life will be held at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 29, conducted by Dr. Geoffrey Lentz. Visitation will be prior to the service at 1:30 p.m. in the church sanctuary.
Those wishing to make contributions in Wayne’s memory may do so to Faith Christian School “Scholarship Fund,” 801 20th St., Port St. Joe, FL 32456, or First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 266, Port St. Joe.
Southerland Family Funeral home is entrusted with arrangements.