Oak Grove United Methodist Church's annual barbecue will be held Saturday, Oct. 20, but it will go on without chief organizer and "boss hog" Paul Taylor.
Taylor, 53, died April 30 after being struck by a pickup truck on North Decatur Road in Decatur.
Taylor was a physician’s assistant in neonatology at Grady Health System for over twenty years. He was also a clinical instructor in the Physician Assistant Program with Emory University School of Medicine, earning the Teacher of the Year Award from the program in 1993.
To use a bicycling term, most of us draft off neighbors like Taylor. In our hesitation to volunteer, this father of two teenaged daughters and two adult children would have already stepped up to coach the soccer team, go on the mission trip or train for a triathlon. After a work day as a physician’s assistant at Grady Memorial Hospital, his service to others was just getting going.
His tough exercise regimen, which included swimming and running, gave him energy for maxing out his time. His pace, enthusiasm and charisma pushed others around him to pitch in, too.
“He was the type of person who didn’t want to just sit in the pew; he wanted to get involved… he wanted to seize life,” said his wife Barbara Hathcock Taylor, a member at Oak Grove since high school and who married Paul there in 1995. “He was very persuasive, not very good at taking no for an answer.
The church is at 1722 Oak Grove Road outside Decatur. The barbecue will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Plates for adults are $8, for children $5.