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M. Lee Taylor Citizen of the Year 2018

Mar 30, 2018 04:00PM
By Shirlene Jordan

The Springville-Mapleton Chamber of Commerce has named M. Lee Taylor as its 2018 Citizen of the Year.

Taylor’s goal in life is to make people happy through posting local history and photos along with current events that are important. He administers a Facebook site that many residents are aware of called “You know you are from Springville when …” and Lee now has almost 5,000 followers.

Taylor was born June 27, 1946, in Springville. He attended Springville schools, graduating from Springville High School in 1964. Some of his fondest memories are of school and the friends he made there and has kept from those days.

He entered Brigham Young University in the fall of 1965 and spent one year there before deciding to enter the workforce and take his chances with the draft. After working at a couple of jobs through the summer and fall, he received his draft notice in November of 1965 and entered the U.S. Army in February of 1966.

He was eventually assigned to duty on Okinawa, Japan, arriving on Christmas Eve. After spending a year on Okinawa as a generator operator on a HAWK Missile site, he requested a transfer to duty in Vietnam. The transfer was approved, and after a 30-day leave at home, he arrived in Saigon on Jan. 5, 1968. He was assigned as a crane and shovel operator at Long Binh and witnessed the deadly fireworks of the annual TET offensive. On May 5, he suffered gasoline burns in a motor pool accident and was soon evacuated to the 106th General Hospital in Yokohama, Japan. Soon home on leave after receiving additional treatment at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver, he was assigned to duty at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, where he spent his last seven months of duty, being released in February of 1969. His only brother, Kent Childs Taylor, was killed in a helicopter crash in May of 1970 while serving in Vietnam.

After leaving the Army, Taylor started working at Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe and became a Journeyman Electrician before quitting in 1991. He immediately went to work for Aerotrans Corporation, directing its electrical division for two years, before quitting and joining the IBEW electrical workers union. He soon went to work for Cache Valley Electric and obtained his Master Electrician license two years later.

For the next 14 years, Cache Valley Electric had his working from coast to coast, generally in the position of a general foreman or superintendent. He retired in late 2009. Divorced in 1986 after having had three children, he lived alone for eight years before meeting Larraine Huff and marrying her in 1994. Larraine also had three children, giving Taylor three more children to enjoy.

Taylor has traveled far and wide, visiting all 50 states as well as a dozen foreign countries. Along the way, he has tried to visit as many of his old school classmates as he could find the time and resources to visit, and this has become one of his true labors of love. Taylor is a very active member of the Springville Senior Citizens, the Springville Historical Society and the newly reinstated Springville Chapter of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers. He is also a lifetime member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Taylor has six children and 14 grandchildren. He and his wife Larraine have been married for 24 years. They love spending time at their cabin high in the mountains of Sanpete County.