John H. Taylor Jr., a career journalist who served on Stroud™ Water Research Center’s board of directors since June 2009, died April 4 after a tough battle with cancer. He was 71 years old.
“Since his first board meeting, John asserted that our highly sophisticated scientific research on fresh water was of limited value unless we effectively communicated our findings to the public. And he was right,” said director Bern Sweeney, Ph.D. “He will be greatly missed.”
Taylor worked as a reporter, metro editor and editorial editor for The News Journal, a Delaware newspaper, for 37 years. In July 2005, he became executive director and senior vice president of the Delaware Public Policy Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization focused on policies, programs and issues affecting the state of Delaware.
He was instrumental in creating the communications department at Stroud Water Research Center and was an active member of the board’s communications committee, even as his health declined.
A QUIET GIANT GENEROUS WITH HIS KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE
“He was a quiet giant with a very pleasant way of expressing himself,” recalled fellow board member Peter Kjellerup, who served on the communications committee with Taylor. “He had a big world vision of what the Stroud Center should be doing with its outreach, and he was happy to share his knowledge and experience to help us accomplish that goal.”
Sweeney recalled that he met Taylor after joining a private dinner club whose members meet monthly to discuss local, national and global issues. “When I hosted a dinner at the Stroud Center, John, who was a member of the club, came up to me and said, ‘I really like what you guys are doing. But you are the best kept secret in the region; no one knows about you. I would really like to help you fix that.’”
In 2012, Taylor conducted two video interviews with Sweeney for Content Delaware because, “Much of the Stroud Center’s work has direct implications for the people in Delaware,” he said.
“John was a socially conscious man who fully invested himself in causes he cared deeply about,” said Rodman W. Moorhead III, Stroud Center’s board chairman.
Board member emeritus John Fisher, VMD, added, “He was an amazing man, one I feel so grateful to have met through the Stroud Center.”
A LEGACY OF SERVICE
According to The News Journal, Taylor was a strong advocate for providing Delaware children with a high-quality education. He was a member of the executive committee of Vision 2015, a statewide, business-directed education reform effort in Delaware.
In 1968, he left The News Journal to become assistant to the superintendent of schools for Wilmington’s Board of Public Education, where he worked from 1968 to 1971. He returned to The News Journal in 1971, where he worked for the next 34 years.
He was a senior vice president of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and executive director of the Delaware Public Policy Institute. He was a member of the Delaware Community Foundation board of directors and the Christiana Care Health System board of directors. He also was a member of the boards of the Ministry of Caring, Serviam Media, the Delaware Children’s Campaign, the William P. Frank Scholarship Fund, Inc., and a member of the Nemours Health and Prevention Services Advisory Committee.