Amherst Magazine

Thomas Hewitt Taylor, Jr.
Thomas Hewitt Taylor, Jr.

It is with extreme sadness that we report the death of Thomas H. Taylor, Jr. Tom died of complications associated with liver disease on November 2, 1994 , in his home in the Cleveland suburb of Moreland Hills. After graduation from Amherst in 1957, Tom earned an MBA from Wharton in 1959. He returned to Cleveland and embarked on a career with Ohio Machinery Co., a Caterpillar dealership organized and nurtured by Tom's father. After holding a number of positions, Tom succeeded his father as President in 1969. He continued as President until his death, when his son, Kenneth E. Taylor '84, became President. In a letter sent to customers, employees and suppliers, announcing Tom's death, Ken honored his dad with the following statement:

"The development, well-being and future of Ohio Machinery Co. was the focus of Dad's whole life. Our company has flourished over the past thirty-five years under his leadership, and through his personal and professional dedication, he has left our world a better place in which to live. His presence and guidance will always be remembered."

Through his work at Ohio Machinery, Tom remained very active in several trade associations with particular emphasis on the nationally recognized Associated Equipment Dealers (AED). Tom's work in his industry was recognized appropriately when he was elected President of AED for the year 1989.

Tom's extra-curricular life took on many facets, focusing on music, his church, Goodwill Industries board membership, as well as St. Luke's Hospital, where he served as a long- time board member. His interest in music was in strong evidence at Amherst as he sang in the Glee Club for four years.  Music also translated into being an important part of the Taylor home where he and his late wife, Mary Jo, designed their living room to accommodate two grand pianos. They studied and played twin pianos for many years until Mary Jo's death in 1988. Tom continued his interest in music by singing in Shaker Heights' Christ Episcopal Church choir and donating a new pipe organ to that church. At the time of his death, Tom was working on and financially supporting a project to completely renew the chapel area in Christ Church .

Tom continued as an ardent supporter of Amherst and made frequent trips to the school for reunions and other occasions. Remarkably, Tom and Ken joined Gretchen and Tom Green '59 in visiting Amherst on Inauguration week-end, barely ten days before his death. At Tom's request, Lord Jeffery Amherst was sung at his memorial service.

While Tom was a man who took great pride in work and civic projects, he also enjoyed a good time and frequent rounds of golf at The Country Club in Cleveland , Amelia Island in Florida or wherever he found himself.

Some nine years ago Tom contracted an incurable form of hepatitis which slowly took its toll. He underwent a liver transplant in May 1994, and recovered enough to enjoy golf and start construction of a new home. Suddenly, the disease re-attacked and Tom could no longer fight it off. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Margo and Jim Walker, son and daughter-in-law, Ken and Martha Taylor, and two grandchildren, Ken and Martha's son Ian and daughter Gillian.

 

-R. Thomas Green, Jr. '59
-John H. Wilharm, Jr. '54
 

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