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Ventura Loses a Friend: Arden Taylor

May 23, 2000|BETTIJANE LEVINE

Arden Marshall Taylor died early Friday morning in Ventura. He died as he had lived: at home, surrounded by family, almost within earshot of the waves he loved to surf.

Taylor, 42, had been a respected building contractor in the Ventura area until he switched careers about a year ago, so he could spend more time with family, friends and his long board. He never got that time. Diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer in September, medical treatments could not diminish his sickness or his decline. But his spirit remained strong.

"You realize life's short. And you better pay attention to it," he once said.

The Times wrote about Taylor in January, because he had lived a life of such integrity that, during his illness, he and his family were enveloped in the love of friends they never knew they had. Church members volunteered to do cleaning, driving, bill paying, shopping, mowing. Contractors chipped in, fixing his house the way he had meant to do before he got sick. Friends cooked, did laundry and cared for the children--Jesse, 13, and Graham, 8.

Taylor's wife, Laura, kept her teaching job and focused on her husband's care. On Friday, she and the children, her parents and Arden's parents were at his bedside when he died, said Judy Knierim, Taylor's mother-in-law.

Services are pending. Arrangements are under the direction of the Charles Carroll Funeral Home in Ventura.

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