Francis Ellsworth Taylor, 94, of Leesville, LA, went to be with the Lord on July 15, 2020.

Final arrangements are provided by Jeane’s Funeral Service of Leesville.  A memorial service will be held at Central Louisiana Veteran’s Cemetery, located on University Parkway, beginning at 2 p.m. July 29.  Please wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines.

Francis was born in Kansas City Dec. 5, 1925.  He entered the military in 1944 serving in the Army in World War II, Korean War, and early Vietnam War retiring from the military in 1964 after 20 years.

Growing up in Missouri, it was his dream to become a pilot. After a semester in college, and the outcome of the war still uncertain, Francis decided to join the Navy to train as a pilot. However, the recruiter redirected him into the Army Air Corps where he served in the Infantry. He was in Heavy Weapons, Company H, 309th Infantry Battalion, 78th Infantry Division, 81mm Mortar Gunner and Squad Leader. His unit was the Lightning Brigade and was among the first foot soldiers to secure and cross the Ludendorff Bridge over the Rhine River at Remagen.  They were ahead of General Patton and secured the passage for the Allied forces.  At the end of World War II, he reenlisted into the new U.S. Air Force and served in the Safety Division in Tennessee, Kansas, Hawaii, Texas, Korea, Japan, and Arkansas advancing to the rank of Senior Master Sergeant.  He spent the next twenty-five years in the Civil Service at Fort Polk as Safety Director retiring as a GS-12 in 1991.  From 1991-2006, Francis worked as a Safety Consultant in South Louisiana.

While he was stationed in Kansas, he fulfilled his dream of earning his private pilot’s license and later became a Flight Instructor in 1955.  He accumulated over six thousand hours of training students to fly.

In addition to flying, Francis enjoyed providing for his family, traveling and working outside, especially mowing the lawn.

When stationed at Randolph AFB in San Antonio, Texas, Francis met and married Nancy Caroline Musgrove on May 8, 1955, at the Base Chapel.  They had three children:  Steven, Billy and Carol.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Lester and Edith Taylor, and his siblings:  Lavelle Siminon (sister) of Wichita, KS; George Taylor of Cebu, Phillipines; Orville Taylor and Clarence Taylor of El Dorado Springs.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Nancy; his three children – Steven, William “Billy” (Nedra), and Carol Anne (Sterling Procter); three grandchildren – Ronald Taylor, Jenna Taylor and Jessica Taylor and a great grandchild – Henry Taylor; two step-grandchildren, five step-great grandchildren and one step-great-great grand.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your church or favorite organization.

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