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Eugene Earl Taylor

01/08/1927 - 03/10/2021
Service Date: 03/20/2021
Service Time: 11:00 AM, proceeded by a visitation from 9:30- 10:30 AM in the Relief Society Room
Service Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Kimball Stake Center) - 1266 S. 32nd St. Mesa, AZ, 85204
Visitation Date: 03/19/2021
Visitation Time: 6:00- 8:00 p.m.
Visitation Location: Bunker's Garden Chapel, 33 N. Centennial Way, Mesa, AZ 85201
Interment: City of Mesa Cemetery

Eugene Earl Taylor, age 94, passed away in his home on Wednesday, March 10, 2021.

Gene was born on January 8, 1927, in Lehi, Arizona, to Florabel Tiffany and Alma Reeves Taylor. Alma passed away in a car accident when Gene was 16, leaving Florabel a widow with nine children. Gene worked hard to help support his family, but still found time to enjoy sports, participate in FFA, and earn his Eagle Scout and Bronze Palm awards.

In 1945, two weeks after graduating from Mesa High School, Gene joined the Army. He went to Japan as part of the occupational forces after World War II. He was so proud to serve his country.

Soon after he got back from Japan, he met Marvell Webb at an institute activity when he knocked her over playing “Upset the Fruit Basket.” They married on December 22, 1948, in the Mesa Arizona Temple, and were blessed with eight children. Gene was an attentive father and was interested in his children’s lives. He wanted them to be safe, successful, and happy. He loved his children and was proud of them.

His business career began in 1949 with one panel truck. He rigged a cooling system in it and began selling lunch meats around the valley. He worked hard and grew the business (later named Taylor Brothers). When he sold it in 1985 it had 85 employees and was a member of the Arizona 100. Gene felt that his success was a blessing from God. He always said, “When you work hard, the Lord blesses you.”

In 1971, Gene purchased 60 acres of forest land in Pinedale. It was his dream to have a ranch where his family could gather. He loved the ranch—the setting, the trees, the pretty green grass, the pastures for raising cattle.

Gene never forgot the kindness of others to his family when he was young. He looked for opportunities to help families in need in his ward and stake. He also donated to organizations and causes that were meaningful to him. In 2001, he led his family in a special donation to the Snowflake Arizona Temple, which was being constructed near Taylor Ranch. The whole family pitched in for the beautiful stained-glass windows in the foyer of the temple.

After retiring from business, Gene and Marvell dedicated themselves to Church service. They served as missionaries at the Los Angeles Temple Visitors’ Center, on Temple Square in Salt Lake City and at the LDS Business College. They also served at the LDS Employment Center and as Mesa Arizona Temple workers.

He wanted his family to know he had a testimony of Jesus Christ, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of the Book of Mormon, of Joseph Smith, and of modern prophets. He also wanted them to know he loved their mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. He lovingly cared for Marvell for 10 years as she went through Alzheimer’s disease and was by her side when she passed away on September 28, 2014. Gene peacefully followed her in death seven years later, surrounded by his eight children.

He is survived by his children Sharon (Farrel) Holyoak, Wilford (Sharla) Taylor, Ken (Lori) Taylor, DeeAnn Manganaro, Brenda (Steve) Penrod, Patty (Doug) Steiner, Mary Lou (Scott) Clifford, and Tom (Tammy) Taylor, along with 36 grandchildren and 86 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be on Friday, March 19th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Bunker Family Funeral Home at 33 North Centennial Way, Mesa, Arizona.

Another visitation will be on Saturday, March 20th from 9:30 to 10:30 am at the Kimball Stake building at 1266 South 32nd Street, Mesa, Arizona. A Funeral service will follow at 11:00 am.

The Funeral service can be viewed for those who are unable to attend.

Links for the Funeral Service:




  • Wayne and Linda Williams

    We are so sorry for the loss of you all’s Father. Gene was a great employer. He treated our family with dignity and support. R.I.P. ?

  • Our condolences to the Taylor family. Gene was the real deal and it was an honor to know him. I will always remember his smile and the kind person that he was. I enjoyed visiting with him and learning from his many years of wisdom and success. How amazing to start a business as a one man show and build it into what he did. I am glad that he did not have to suffer for very long and had a wonderful life.
    What a great family of wonderful people Gene and Marvel left behind. The world was a better place because of them both. Gene will be missed for sure!

  • Gordon Ganschow

    I really did enjoy taking Gene to visit the family’s we were assigned to minister to. He always had lots of good stories to tell me about his family. It was a absolute delight getting to know Gene!!

  • Diane S Matthews

    I so appreciated being apprised of Gene’s passing and given the opportunity to attend, through Zoom, the beautiful funeral service. It was inspiring to watch his children pay tribute to him. I knew Patty, Mary Lou and Tommy who were the younger Taylor children, and worked with Wilford when he was in the stake presidency and I was in the stake Relief Society. It was a joy to know these members of the Taylor family. Marvel talked about the older children I had not the opportunity to know, so I felt a kindship to the entire family she and Gene were always so proud of. Marvel was particularly a good friend of mine. My husband Elmo worked with her when she was Stake Young Woman’s president and he was in our ward bishopric. He called her Marvelous Marvel–because that is what she was. (And I was glad to hear today that the girls camp on Taylor Ranch property now bears her name.) When my husband died too soon and unexpectedly, Marvel was there to figure out some way she could do something to help me. Later when they moved to their home on Emelita a few houses down from me (but in a different ward) I enjoyed a closer relationship, and the Taylors watched and were supportive friends as I worked to raise my own six children as a single mother. I was part of AZ American Mothers when we named Marvel as Arizona Mother of the Year. A few years later she returned the favor and came down to tell me I should fill out the Mother of the Year portfolio. I told her I didn’t think that was something I should do. She responded, “You own it to your children.” I loved that Marvel had that kind of perspective–on her children and mine. (I did as she requested and met with success in Arizona and nationally–Marvel there to watch me as I had watched her.)
    She came to sit in my living room to tell me she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I remember that conversation well and was amazed and proud of her for the attitude she had as she bravely went forth to meet this difficult challenge. For years I would see Gene and Marvel on their daily walk which took them often past my home. If I were working in the yard or outside for any other reason, I met them on the street and we would chat. I admired the relationship they had before Marvel’s diagnosis, but also was grateful as I watched Gene’s careful attention to his beloved wife. What a blessing he was to her. How kind, patient and tender. She seemed to remember me as the years passed and always gave me a hug. The day when they came by and she politely held out her hand for a handshake was a sad day for me. Even though Gene reminded her who I was, she seemed not to know. Not long after that Wilford notified me of her eminent passing and invited me to the house to say my goodbyes. Gene was there, strong and faithful as ever.
    I moved from Arizona about a year after Marvel passed away. I had felt Gene, with his heart issues, might not survive Marvel very long. That he did is another example of his perseverance (which Tom described so well today in the funeral services.) I love and appreciate both Gene and Marvel and consider it one of the blessings of my life to have been counted as their friend. I pray, along with Gene and Marvel, that the marvelous posterity which filled the choir loft today as they sang praises for what Gene and Marvel had helped them become, that they will ever and always be faithful to the example of these two forebears of theirs. Love and blessings to you all.

  • Judie Crookston

    My most heartfelt condolences to DeeAnn and the entire family. Sending love and beauty to all.

  • Larry and Cora Leavitt

    Gene was a few weeks younger than Larry, a life-long friend, and fellow temple worker. Gene and Marvel’s wedding date was the next day after ours. We were 6th Ward members together and socialized with other young marrieds. Gene and Marvel were role models for parents, Latter-Day Saints and, industriousness. Condolences to the family. We will mourn with you.

  • Stephen and Carolei Phelps

    I first became acquainted with Gene as a young man working in my father’s grocery store, Cost + 10 Market in Mesa. Gene sold lunch meats to Dad, and I often encountered him when he was there personally restocking the cold cuts in the store. Gene’s brother, Dean, was my age and we went through school together, graduating from Mesa High in 1960. Dean’s untimely death brought sorrow to us all. I later became acquainted with Gene and Marvell’s son Wilford and his wife, Sharla, when we were members of the Mesa 40th Ward. And at that same time I became acquainted with Marvell and their daughter, Patty, when I taught Patty piano lessons. Every experience I have had with Gene, Marvell and their children has been a positive and uplifting experience. Gene was a great man. I loved him and his family dearly. My thoughts and prayers are with his children now.

  • I was saddened to hear of Gene’s passing. I have been out of state and just read about it. We love your family and enjoyed being neighbors as well as friends. May the Lord always be with you and bless you.

  • Nanette Phelps Brinton Updike

    I have to say that your parents were one of the greatest positive and powerful influences in my life while rowing up and throughout my life. Their happy and caring personalities were such a great example to me. I will love your parents forever and lo forward to seeing them again one day.

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