ALBANY -- James Fred Taylor, self-made businessman and a formidable fixture in Georgia politics since 1966, passed away early Friday morning at his home in Albany, Georgia. Services will be held on Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 12 Noon, at Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church in Albany, with a private interment service to follow in Crown Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends at Porterfield beginning at 11 AM till service hour.
Born November 4, 1929, in Alma, Georgia, he was the son of L. W. Taylor, Sr. and Ovieda Taylor, brother to Betty Morris and the late L. W. Taylor, Jr. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Tommie Taylor, three children and five grandchildren.
Fred Taylor was farm boy, high school basketball state champion, Korean War Air Force Sergeant, Student Body President at South Georgia College in Douglas, husband to Tommie and father to Mark, Marsha and Linda.
A fearless entrepreneur who started his first business with $95 in Ocilla, GA, he was founder and owner of Georgia Mack Sales now Transpower, Inc. with locations in Albany, Valdosta and Douglas, 1967 Mack Truck National Dealer of the Year, and founder and owner of Interstate NationaLease, Inc., Georgia's largest privately-owned truck leasing firm with 16 locations in Georgia and Alabama.
He was a former Albany Chamber of Commerce Vice President, twin engine rated pilot, former member City of Albany Aviation Commission, South Georgia Campaign Manager, Campaign Finance Co-Chair and the "Field Marshall" for George Busbee for Governor in 1974 and 1978. Chief of Staff to Governor George Busbee 1974 to 1982, and a leader in the passage of Constitutional Amendment Number 2 allowing George Busbee to be the first Georgia Governor to seek and win a second consecutive term in office.
He was founder and owner of Interstate Warehouse Services of Albany and Thomasville, an 18 year member of the Board of Directors for SunTrust Bank, long time Director for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Motor Trucking Association, member of Governor Zell Millers' Commission on Effectiveness and Economy in Government, and recognized on four occasions by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians.
Fred Taylor was the beloved and devoted Grandfather to Fletcher, Leslie, Taylor, Culin and Wells who knew him as their "FT." Their good health and educational success was always at the forefront of their Grandfather's mind.
As a conservationist, cattle man, and farmer, Fred Taylor was owner of Chokee Plantation in Lee County. GA. There he spent thousands of hours personally managing a wild quail habitat, a quality deer management program, protecting and honoring the Flint River and working tirelessly on an extensive beautification and planting program. FT loved Chokee and was passionate about the awesome natural beauty of South Georgia.
Fred Taylor will be greatly missed by family, friends and employees who have been so wonderful to him during his long illness. His family especially appreciates the physicians, nurses and staff of Phoebe Putney Hospital and his long-time care givers Henry Lemon and Cindy Baltimore.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor his memory may donate to the Willson Hospice House, AFLAC Cancer Center at Children's Health Care of Atlanta, The Salvation Army of Albany or Sherwood Baptist Church where Mr. Taylor was a member since 1962.
You may sign the guestbook and share your thoughts with the family of Fred Taylor by visiting Kimbrell-Stern's website at www.kimbrellstern.com.
Kimbrell-Stern Funeral Directors