Ernest (Ernie) LeRoy Taylor, or Grandpa Taylor as many knew him, passed away on October 19, 2012 from a terrible cancer called Leukemia. Ernie was a well-known, well-trusted gentleman who worked as a crossing guard near our school.
He was very close to many children and enjoyed being in their company. For years he surrounded himself with loving people and generous souls.
Ernie fought in the Korean War. He is considered a hero. Grandpa Taylor accepted a crossing guard job many years ago and has loved it ever since. As cars passed by he greeted them with a smile and what he is known for, his friendly, day-making wave.
I have grown very close to this man in the past years, and he has affected my life tremendously. In the springtime of 2010, Ernie had a seizure. As I was leaving my house to cross the street, I had noticed something was wrong. Grandpa Taylor hadn't answered my question and was stumbling backwards. Before I knew it, he had tripped over the concrete and was reaching behind him to catch onto me.
I was in shock; I didn't know what to do. He fell onto the sidewalk; his eyes were cloudy and glazed over. His breathing sounded terrible, like a dog growling. My heart lurched and my eyes filled with tears. At that very moment I thought I was going to lose him forever. I'm just so grateful I got to spend another couple years with him.
Ernie was a very generous man. He spent much of his time reading with the young children of Park Elementary School. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing.
The memory of this man will stay deep in my heart, and I believe in many others. He has touched us all in one way or another. All I can say is that I wish I could have given him one last hug.