Leland Baridon Taylor died on June 14, 2020, of natural causes at a retirement community in Florida just short of his 100th birthday.
Born in 1920 and raised in Poughkeepsie, NY, the son of Elsie and Alexander Taylor, Lee attended Syracuse University, where he was the manager of the football team and was honored as a Syracuse Letterman of Distinction. After graduation in 1942, Lee joined the US Navy and from January 1944 until June 1945 served in the Pacific Theatre as the supply officer on the destroyer USS Remey which earned 10 battle stars.
After returning home from the Pacific, Lee married Rosemary Bell Coon and taught at the Harvard Business School for the US Navy before leaving the service in 1946. Returning to Syracuse University, Lee earned his law degree in just two years. He then moved to Cortland in 1948 where he raised his family and practiced law with the firm Fitzgerald & Taylor (now Pomeroy, Armstrong & Casullo, LLP). Lee loved, and was loved by, his colleagues in the local bar association and his many clients. He retired from law practice in 2010 after 62 years. In 2014 he and Rosemary moved to Florida.
Lee was very committed to his community. He was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church and Rotary Club. He served on the Board of Directors of First National Bank of Dryden for 50 years, 18 years as Chairman of the Board. Lee served as Trustee of the Cortland Free Library for 55 years. He was a Cortland City Court Judge from 1952 to 1957, and served as Secretary, a Vice-President, and Finance Committee Chairman during his time as a member of the NY Bar Association. Lee also served on the Board of Directors of the Central NY Chapter of the American Automobile Association, and on the Board of Directors of the Monroe Title Company.
Known for his strong principles and work ethic, his family and friends remember him best for his ready smile and his contagious laugh. He considered himself lucky to have survived the war and that, along with his upbringing, made him humble, caring and a devoted family man. After their children spread across the country and started families of their own, Lee and Rosemary would bring the extended family together bi-yearly for family reunions at places around the United States and in Europe.
Lee is survived by his beloved wife of 75 years, Rosemary, their four children Barry (Libby), Craig (Anne), Mark (Robin), and Meg (Jim) Casey, six grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.
Donations in his memory may be made to the Cortland Free Library or the First Presbyterian Church of Cortland.
A memorial service will be held at a later date in Cortland, NY.