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May 20, 2019  |  

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J. Kenneth Taylor


Published Dec. 05, 2018

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J. Kenneth Taylor of Essex died peacefully on Nov. 27. He was 88 years old. Born in Ville-Emard, a suburb of Montreal, Canada, Dr. Taylor was the son of John and Grace Greenfield Taylor. He epitomized the stoicism and will of the greatest generation, growing up in an environment of little means. He attributed his tenacity for success to his tough childhood and disciplined Catholic education by the Christian Brothers.

Dr. Taylor’s formative years were in Montreal, along with his brother Edward, and sister Grace. His strong work ethic and keen intelligence allowed him to achieve the highest levels of success throughout his life. There he graduated from Loyola College with a bachelor of science degree and went on to McGill University to earn a degree in electrical engineering. He ultimately attended medical school at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Taylor did his general surgical and neurosurgical residencies at Kings County Medical Center, where he was also chief resident. He went on to work at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, under the tutelage of Dr. Albert Cook, a renowned neurosurgeon of New York City at that time.

While Dr. Taylor was a general surgical resident, he met his beloved wife, Bette Doremus. He married in Montreal, Canada, before leaving to start a coveted neurological fellowship at the National Hospital for Nervous Disease at Queens Square in London, United Kingdom. When he returned to the United States, he worked in private practice in southern Connecticut for a few years before returning to Brooklyn to again work with his previous mentor, Dr. Cook. After nine years at Long Island Medical Center, he moved with his family to Eaton’s Neck, Long Island, where he went into private practice. Later in his career, Dr. Taylor took up a position at Nassau County Medical Center as an attending neurosurgeon, where he stayed until retirement. When Dr. Taylor’s children were grown to adulthood, he and his wife retired in Essex, where he lived for eight years.

In life, Dr. Taylor was known for his formidable intelligence, understated generosity, and devotion to his patients. He was always modest about his many accomplishments and as a neurosurgeon likened himself to a simple mechanic. Nurses and patients alike often expressed deep gratitude for his professional service, commenting that he truly cared for his patients. Despite all his professional success, his greatest achievement was his marriage of 51 years to his wife Bette, the true love of his life, who remained by his side until his passing. Nothing gave him more joy than his many years with her.

Ken is survived by his beloved wife Bette, his loving children Jennifer, James, and John Paul, and his caring grandchildren Zackary and Elizabeth.

A private memorial Mass will be held at Saint Joseph’s Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to hospice care at VITAS Healthcare, 199 Park Rd. Ext., Ste. 102, Middlebury, CT 06762, or by email, with designation “Connecticut.” To share a memory of Dr. Taylor or send a condolence to his family, please visit Arrangements by Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home, Centerbrook.

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