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Rear Admiral James E. “Jim” Taylor, USN-ret., 88, of Williamsburg, Va., formerly of Mathews, Va., passed away on Friday, April 12, 2024, following an extended illness. Jim was born in Pritchard, Ala., near Mobile. He graduated from James Tate High School in Gonzales, Fla., received an A.S. degree from Perkinson Junior College, a B.S. degree from U.S. Naval Post Graduate School and his Master’s in Business Financial Management from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Jim entered the Navy through the Naval Aviation Cadet Program in June of 1955 and was designated a Naval Aviator and commissioned an Ensign in March of 1957. After several combat tours as an F-8 fighter pilot in Viet Nam, he was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington. Jim subsequently served as Executive Officer and Commanding Officer while flying F-4 Phantoms out of Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach and followed that as Commanding Officer, Naval Air Station, Miramar, Calif., in 1981. He was Commander, Tactical Wings Atlantic and Chief of Naval Reserve as Rear Admiral until his retirement in 1992. Jim was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Air Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, and numerous unit and foreign awards due to his service in Southeast Asia and throughout his career. After his retirement, Jim worked for Burdeshaw Associates, a business management firm in Fairfax, Va.

Jim and his beloved wife, Amanda, spent 21 active and wonderful years on the East River in Mathews, contributing their time, talent and treasure supporting community organizations including: the Bay School Community Art Center, Mathews Visitor Center, Mathews County Historical Society, Kingston Episcopal Parish, Mathews Land Conservancy, Mathews Family YMCA, Meals on Wheels, Retired Officers of Mathews County Association, and the Geezer Golf Group. The Taylors joined Betsy and Dwight Ambach in initiating and personally funding the flower basket project, beautifying Mathews Historic Court Green. They also shared their vast knowledge of domestic and imported wines and the consumption thereof. In addition, Jim served on the board of E. Dillon & Company, a family-owned stone business in Swords Creek, Va.

Jim was predeceased by his parents, Melvin A. and Caroline P. Taylor; his sister, Mary Beth Cunningham and his wife of 47 years, Amanda Nottingham Dillon Taylor. He is survived by his son, Mark Taylor; sister, Sharon Taylor; nephew, Dave Dillon (Barbara); nephew, Keith Robinson; great-nieces, Megan Robinson, Jackie Dillon and Tori Dillon, and great-nephews, Brandon Robinson and Danny Dillon.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jim and Amanda Taylor Endowment Fund or Main Street Beautification Fund of the Mathews Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1037 Mathews, Va. 23109; Gentiva Hospice, 203 Bulifants Blvd., Suite B, Williamsburg, Va. 23188, or the charity of your choosing.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on Thursday, May 2, 2024, at Christ Church, Mathews, at 2 p.m., followed by a graveside committal service with military honors. A reception honoring Jim and Amanda will be held at Kingston Parish House, 370 Main Street, Mathews, immediately following the service.

Faulkner Funeral Homes, Foster-Faulkner Chapel, Mathews, is assisting the family.