Dwight Davidson Taylor, Jr.

For 94 years, Dwight Taylor found the best in himself, in his friends, and in life. He will be dearly missed and fondly remembered by all those whose lives he has touched for the better. He passed away peacefully at his home on the morning of Monday, May 18th, 2015.

Dwight was born November 25, 1920, Minneapolis, Minnesota to Dwight D. Taylor, Sr. and Ethelyn Maude Bigglestone Taylor. Grandson of Judge James B. Taylor, a native of Bennington Vt. who came to Portage in 1865 and was a Probate and County Judge from 1893 to 1898, and Mayor of the City of Portage in 1884.

Dwight grew up on Lake Minnetonka, near the town of Excelsior where he went to school. An only child, he left home at the age of 16 in the Fall of 1937 and boarded a train headed for Harvard.   He received his B.A. in 1941, Phi Beta Kappa. He earned a law degree at the Harvard Law School, nominally the class of ’44 which was delayed to ’49 due to the war. He earned an A.M.P.  from the Harvard business School, 1972.

He served on Harvard’s 2012 Faculty of Arts and Sciences Task Force on Student Support.

He joined Pan Am’s ground support services group, which contracted with the US Navy. Dwight worked as station manager at Noumea, New Caledonia during WWII. He also lived in Sydney, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand during the war.

Dwight entered private legal practice from 1949 to 1952. From 1952 to 1953 he was the Assistant to the President of the State University of New York in Albany. From 1954 to ‘55 he worked for the Carnegie Corporation in New York, then joined American Airlines, where he worked as Vice President of governmental affairs from 1955 to 1964. He joined Eastern Airlines in 1965 as a Senior Vice President until 1974. In 1974, he moved to San Francisco as Senior Vice President of Crown Zellerbach, where he retired in 1985.

He married Dorothy Virginia Bennett in Alexandria, Virginia on April 11, 1975.
They lived in Pacific Heights, San Francisco.

Dwight is survived by his step children Nancy P. Northrup, Donald Prather and David Prather, his grandchildren, J.D. Northrup and his wife Jamie of Berkeley, Kate Summers, Robert Northrup, Serena Prather, Anton Prather, Benjamin, Michael, Mark and Daniel Prather, and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy Bennett Taylor.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. August 8, 2015 at the Pflanz, Mantey, Mendrala Funeral Home, 430 W. Wisconsin St., Portage. Burial will follow in Silver Lake Cemetery.  Donations can be made on Dwight Taylor’s behalf to the college scholarship charity 10,000 Degrees.



For information please call 608 742-2126 (Portage, WI) or 608 635-2763 (Poynette, WI)