By Clarence Plank: Freedom New Mexico
Charles “Chick” Taylor Jr., one of Clovis’ longest serving mayors, is remembered as a friend to all and a man who warmed hearts.
Taylor died at Saturday at Lubbock Heart Center. He was 76 years old.
“He was a woodworker,” Cindy Banister said, describing her uncle. “The mayor of Clovis for 12 years. He was a politician, and a friend of all friends.”
Taylor’s daughter Lori Chadwick said, “Immediately you would know he was a friend with a big smile and big grin. I think someone would walk away saying wow … he warmed my heart.”
Taylor was mayor from 1968 to 1980. Only one other mayor served Clovis as long, David Lansford.
Taylor was hometown born and bred, attending Clovis Schools until his sophomore year in high school, when he joined Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Mo., then, later, the New Military Institute in Roswell.
He was also an Army station chief in Japan during the Korean War.
“He loved woodworking and he always wanted to be an architect at heart,” Chadwick said. “He would have loved to have flown planes. But he was so tall and lanky that when he enlisted, they wouldn’t let him fly planes. He had a true love for flying.”
“He was 6 foot 5 and every bit of him was filled with energy and love,” Banister said.
Chadwick said, “He was my dad, my rock…
“He was there when I needed him and gave me the courage that I needed. He gave me every little bit of scolding that I needed,” Chadwick said. “He was the wind beneath my wings in every way in my life.”
Taylor was active in community affairs, while working in the family business, Chick Taylor Printing in Clovis.
“He loved to do woodworking and I’m not talking about hammer and nail,” Chadwick said. “He actually did the tongue and groove building of furniture and he took great pride in measuring it out.”
Taylor and his wife, Scotty, also ran The Woodworking Shoppe at 115 Main Street, where he used his talents to repair and build furniture.
“People would bring in antiques, old family heirlooms and they would say, ‘Chick can you do anything with this?,’” Chadwick said. “He would do whatever it took to research, repair it and restore or rebuild. He made sure there were no duplications that wouldn’t make it not authentic. He really enjoyed doing it.”
After returning from Korea, Taylor graduated from Army Officers Candidate School at Fort Sill, Okla., as a guided missile and artillery officer and continued to service in the New Mexico National Guard. He earned a bachelor degree in business and economics at Eastern New Mexico University.
Scotty Taylor met her husband on a blind date in California. Taylor’s friend Gary Crawford arranged the date. Crawford’s girlfriend and Scotty worked in a bank.
Scotty and Taylor were in the back seat of Crawford’s car and he turned a corner really sharp, scooting her over next to Taylor.
“Whoop there I was, then Chick put his arm around me,” Scotty said. “That’s all she wrote. The rest is history. We’ve been married 55 years.”