Howard County Veterinarian Richard F. Taylor passes

Howard County residents were shocked and saddened early this week as news spread of the sudden death of Richard F. “Doc” Taylor, DVM. Operating the Howard County Veterinary Service for fifty years, Doc Taylor has met most of the residents of Howard County and their animals.
Originally from Shelbina, Mo., Doc Taylor attended the University of Missouri upon completion of High School. This is where he met Joyce Lee Thoeni. in 1959. He married his Joyce in 1960 and they enjoyed 56 years of marriage.
In 1962, Doc and Joyce moved to Fayette where he started he career in veterinary medicine. The Taylors raised their family just north of Fayette. Their three children, Leigh Ann, Rick, and Lisa Jan attended and graduated from Fayette Schools, and the family attended Fayette’s First Baptist Church where Doc served as a deacon and Sunday School Director. A strong faith in Christ has been a hallmark of Doc and Joyce.
Practicing in an agricultural area and working with large livestock, as Doc did, there is always the concern for serious injury. After half a century working with large animals, Doc never received a major injury. This was probably due as much to his calm, gentle but firm way with animals as much as fortune.
Doc began practicing veterinary medicine in 1962, practicing with Dr. Kenneth Vroman for more than 40 years. In 2012 Doc decided it was time to retire. Retirement, however, didn’t mean completely leaving the practice. Many days his truck could be found parked outside the veterinarian office. In more recent years, he was often seen walking along Highway 5 to and from the veterinary office in the morning. It could be speculated as to whether this was part of a healthy lifestyle or a way to go to the office incognito.
As a veterinarian, Doc was also very involved with the local 4-H organizations. He and Joyce have been active in 4-H leadership for more than 40 years, guiding and assisting 4-H youth, and sharing their knowledge and experience.
Doc and his wife, Joyce have been very active members of Howard County and over the years could be found at local sports games, plays, and concerts; stump speakings; and community fundraisers and benefits. He served on the Fayette School Board and was a member of the Lions Club.
In every part of his life, Doc earned the respect and admiration of those around him, evidenced by the many honors and awards received throughout his life. His loss will be felt by many, and surely he will be remembered most for his kindness. Anywhere he went Doc Taylor had a smile and a handshake accompanied by a kind word for everyone he met.
Richard F. Taylor’s full Obituary is available on page three.

1 Comment

  1. Carolyn Johnson Winkler on February 6, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    To Joyce, Leigh Ann, Rick and Lisa Jan, to let all of you how much Dr. Taylor was loved and respected by friends and patients. “Johnson” enjoyed every minute she worked at the clinic and it was such a great place for her to meet so many people in Fayette. My husband, Art Winkler, has a sister Cathy Bagby and her husband Fay Bagby (related to the ones in Fayette), she was telling me today how kind and concerned every time they had to call Dr. Taylor to come out for some of their farm animals. Much love to all of you. Sincerely, Carolyn, Sharon and Mathy, (Johnson’s kids).

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