Robert (Bob) Watson Taylor died unexpectedly Jan. 25 on Martha’s Vineyard. He was 68.
Born Nov. 13, 1945 and raised in White Plains, N.Y., Bob graduated from White Plains High School in 1963. He enjoyed summers with family on Hines Point in Vineyard Haven. The Vineyard instilled in him a lifelong love of sand, sea and sky. He was happiest in or on the water.
He graduated from Wisconsin State University at Superior, where he was the faithful captain of the swim team. After spending some time out west, he returned to the Vineyard where he married Kathy Davis and had two daughters, Elizabeth Taylor of Essex, Conn., and Kara Taylor of Martha’s Vineyard. After a brief time as an elementary teacher, he discovered a new career as an Electrolux salesman. Bob’s gregarious nature granted him much success, which led him to his true passion of being with the sea. He achieved his captain’s license and scuba certification and found work in the environment he loved. Over the past 10 years he had been a mate on the Hy-Line ferry. He often spelled the captain in navigating boats to the Islands.
A beautiful, strong swimmer, he could be seen gliding along the surf as secure as any of the seals along the coast of Cape Cod, or he would be under the waters on the north shores of Aquinnah or Menemsha, supplying friends and family with freshly caught lobsters, buckets of clams or a fish he had just speared. His memorable characteristics include attempting to do the impossible, challenging the elements that nature provided. Bob was a self-described thrill seeker, aka “Sea Aqua Man.” His more memorable expeditions include sailing the sunfish to Nantucket for the night, swimming from Lambert’s Cove to the shores of Nashoun island, or walking the circumference of Martha’s Vineyard with a back pack and a portable raft.
His deep love of nature and his independent spirit stood witness to his lifestyle through his expression of stories, essays and poetry. Most recently, you could spot him riding his bike through Vineyard Haven with his five-gallon buckets hanging from the handle bars, filled with clams, mask and snorkel.
His kindhearted, crazy wisdom and exuberance for life touched us all.
Bob is survived by his daughters Kara and Elizabeth; two grandsons, Clay and Morgan; a brother Ted and sister Leslie; a niece and many nephews, cousins and friends who will miss him greatly.
A memorial service will be held in the spring on Martha’s Vineyard.