John Meadows Taylor

Published 6:03 pm Thursday, July 30, 2020

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John Meadows Taylor


John Meadows Taylor, 77, of LaGrange died on July 25, 2020, at West Georgia Hospice.

Born on March 7, 1943, in Savannah, Georgia, he was the son of James William Taylor and Christine Meadows Taylor. He was educated in the public school system in LaGrange and graduated from LaGrange High School in 1961. He attended the University of Georgia, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta, and graduated in 1965 with an A.B. in political science. 

In 1968, he received his Juris Doctor degree from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, where he was a founding member of the Cumberland Law Review. He was first admitted to practice law in Georgia and Alabama in 1968.

After passing the bar, Mr. Taylor was a Captain in the United States Army, serving in the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps from 1968 to 1973 at Fort Knox. After leaving the Army, Mr. Taylor returned to LaGrange in 1973, where he began practicing law with the firm of Sims & Lewis, now Lewis, Taylor & Todd, P.C. He was appointed to the Georgia State Board of Education in 1983 by Governor Joe Frank Harris, serving until 1990, including as its Vice Chairman for Appeals and Chairman of Administrative Services Committee. 

During his career, Mr. Taylor represented, among other longtime clients, the Troup County School System; Harris County School System; and Harris County Board of Commissioners. He twice served as President of the Georgia Council of School Board Attorneys. Shortly prior to his death, Mr. Taylor was in the process of retiring from the practice of law after 52 years. Mr. Taylor was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church of LaGrange. At the time of his death, he was a member and the longtime teacher of the Builders Men’s Sunday School class.  

Mr. Taylor participated in various civic and community activities, including serving on the board of the Troup County Historical Society in various capacities, including a term as President; he was currently the Trustee Representative to the Board. He had also been a member of the Great Books Club, Gridiron Secret Society, LaGrange Gridiron Club, Troup County Bar Association, and LaGrange Lions Club. 

Mr. Taylor was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Anita Willoughby “Bit” Taylor of LaGrange; daughter, Dean Taylor Cleaveland, and her husband Phil of Atlanta; and granddaughter, Julia Willoughby Cleaveland, also of Atlanta. He is also survived by his sister, Julia Wilkes Taylor of LaGrange; nephew, John Edward “J” Willoughby, Jr. of Birmingham, Alabama; great-niece, Samantha Jean Willoughby of Birmingham, Alabama; and numerous cousins. 

A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, those desiring may make memorial gifts to West Georgia Hospice, 1510 Vernon Road, LaGrange, Georgia 30240; Troup County Historical Society, P.O. Box 1051, LaGrange, Georgia 30241; or First Baptist Church Benevolence Fund, 207 W. Haralson Street, LaGrange, Georgia 30240.

Those wishing to share a condolence or remembrance with the family may do so by visiting Arrangements are by Striffler-Hamby Mortuary, 1010 Mooty Bridge Road, LaGrange, Georgia, 30240 (706) 884-8636.