Byron Taylor’s tank manufacturing truck has been customized by the welders with a new motif every year for 50 years. Every year his float has marked the end of the Woodlake Lions Rodeo Parade. This year’s Grand Marshal is in the running for the longest continuous parade participant!
Byron and his sister Kathleen lived in Ajo, Tonapah, and Fresno as the army moved his parents Byron and Margaret around. They settled in Eugene, Oregon, where his father pursued a career at the electric utility company.
Byron followed his father’s engineering footsteps at Oregon State University. He met Joanne Savage there, and they married shortly after graduation. He wore his U.S. Navy Lieutenant’s uniform, and then served in the Korean War while Joanne rode a cable car to work in San Francisco.
As Byron worked in the pipeline department of Standard Oil the growing family (adding Bret, Mark, and Carla) moved to Mill Valley, Bakersfield, and Temple City. Amanda was born after Byron and Joanne moved to Woodlake to take on Mosier Bros. Tanks and Manufacturing. The steel fabrication business was in the middle of town, just south of the crossroads of Naranjo and Valencia.
Byron Taylor used his Professional Engineer license and his inventions to modernize the business. His “Vacuum DoubleWall Tank” pioneered safe underground storage tanks on the West Coast. His patented “Taylor Tire Terminator” made it possible to transport and dispose of otherwise bulky tires.
Under his engineering and leadership the business expanded and made storage tanks from 40 gallons to 20,000 gallons which were sold across several states. (Mosier Bros. continues innovation under family management.)
While the children (and parents) were young Byron was an active climber, hiker, skier, and camper. (One first ascent is listed in A Climbing Guide to Oregon.) He made sure Woodlake would be a great place for kids to grow up. He supported the Boy Scouts of America. He was elected to the Woodlake High School Board and served there for a number of years. For many years he also advised the Tulare County Organization for Vocational Education.
Byron has been a member of the Woodlake Rotary Club for more than 50 years, including his time as Rotary President. While Communism was a pop enthusiasm in the universities, Byron taught classes reminding that Communist dictatorships oppressed half the world. More recently has volunteered with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Aero Squadron. He has served on the Woodlake Memorial Board that watches over the Memorial Building.
Byron has slowed down a little lately to enjoy grandchildren and great grandchildren. His regular attendance supports Woodlake coffee shops.
All these are great loves: his parents and family, his wife, children, and grandchildren, his friends, his little town of Woodlake, and the United States of America. Yet they are all just parts of his love for God in Jesus Christ. Byron taught Sunday School, and has also served on the boards of the Woodlake Presbyterian Church and the Kaweah Community Church.
Byron Taylor is honored and proud to be Grand Marshal of the Woodlake Lions Rodeo and Parade. He’s been practicing for it a long time!