December 26, 1948 - July 27, 2020
Service Date: August 1, 2020
James Van Taylor, III, MD
December 26, 1948 – July 27, 2020
James Van Taylor, III, MD, 71 of Wilson, passed peacefully at his home on Monday, July 27, 2020, with his beloved family by his side. He had valiantly battled cancer for two years.
A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, July 31, 2020 in Bethel Town Cemetery, 29610 West Lewis Street, Bethel. A celebration of this wonderful man’s life will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, August 1, 2020 at Joyner’s Funeral Home, 4100 Raleigh Road Parkway, Wilson.
Dr. Taylor was born December 26, 1948 in Rocky Mount to James Van Taylor, Jr., and Dot Bunting Taylor. He spent his childhood in Bethel, where he attended the Bethel Schools and excelled in academics and sports. He was an exceptional athlete, his earliest sport was baseball, where he pitched and played first base in Little League. Basketball was absolutely his favorite sport. His left-handed shots from the left corner were legendary and almost always accurate. He scored thirty-eight points in one game for Bethel High School until the coach, who had held the record benched him!
Being left-handed in sports was an asset but certainly not true later when he was forced to teach himself how to tie a surgical knot because none of his instructors were left-handed!
Dr. Taylor’s high school years were spent at Woodberry Forest School in Woodberry Forest, Virginia. At class reunions, he was always asked if he still had that famous jump shot. After graduation, Dr. Taylor chose the University of North Carolina and quickly and forever became a True Blue Tarheel … After graduation, he entered Graduate School at East Carolina University where he received his Master of Science degree.
Jim married his High School sweetheart, Pat Dennis, on July 12, 1975 and two weeks before his death, Dr. Taylor and his wife celebrated their forty-fifth anniversary and renewed their wedding vows.
Medical school brought a move back to Chapel Hill and a residency in Family Practice was next in bringing him back to Greenville. Those were very tough years, but certainly building blocks for their future and filled with many blessings. In the first week the pride and joy of Dr. Taylor’s life was born, James Van Taylor, IV. Oh, what a blessing this child was in those stressful years with their long hours and little sleep.
An offer from the Wilson Clinic to practice medicine was the next and final move. It proved to be the perfect home. For over forty years, Dr. Taylor invested his time and energy serving the people of Eastern North Carolina. He was known for his compassion, integrity, his strong principles, and devotion to his patients and co-workers. He correctly diagnosed and treated thousands of people during his career, and he was so beloved. Many were the days when he would come home with jars of homemade jam, cartons of fresh garden vegetables, and fresh baked pies, all gifts from his patients whom he had seen that day. Dr. Taylor’s other great love was his garden and yard. He was never happier than when he was working with his vegetables or mowing the grass. And the weather could never be too hot.
He will be remembered … always with love and respect … and he is worthy of this.
Dr. Taylor is survived by his devoted wife of forty-five years, Pat Dennis Taylor and his beloved son, James Van Taylor, IV.
Dr. Taylor is also survived by his first cousins, Vance Bunting Taylor and wife, Sue, Sally Ann Atkinson and husband, Ed, Sue Noble McKinley, William Taylor Carson and wife, Linda and numerous other cousins and his family by marriage that adored him, and he them and who have loved and supported him through his journey of life.
In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials in Dr. Taylor’s memory to the First United Methodist Church, PO Box 1465, Wilson, North Carolina 27894 or Bethel United Methodist Church, PO Box 207, Bethel, North Carolina 27812 or to charity of one’s choice.
Condolences directed to Joyner’s Funeral Home and Crematory at www.joyners.net.