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David DL Lester Taylor

Born: 10/18/1931, Moab, Utah
Death: 3/17/2018, Moab, Utah
Service: Private

D.L. Taylor passed away quietly on March 17, 2018, at the age of 86. He was born October 18, 1931, in Moab, Utah to Lester Ralph Taylor and Helen Faye Goudelock Taylor. At D.L. and Colleen’s request, cremation has taken place and there will be a memorial service scheduled later in the year. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the D.L. Taylor Memorial. Utah Cattlemen’s Association. 150 South 600 East #10-B. Salt Lake City, Utah, 84102.

The Taylors were among Grand County’s first cattlemen, establishing themselves in the area in 1881, and as a 5th generation rancher, D.L. spent his summers in the LaSal Mountains where his family raised cattle and sheep. He graduated from Grand County High School as the 1949 class Valedictorian and married his high school sweetheart, Colleen Holyoak, in 1952. D.L. then attended the University of Utah and later transferred to Colorado A&M, where he graduated High Distinction with a degree in Animal Husbandry and Production. While attending Colorado A&M, D.L. enrolled in the ROTC, and upon graduation, he served as a Lieutenant in the Army during the Korean War. After his discharge, D.L. returned to Moab with his family.

Throughout D.L.’s life, he carried a sense of responsibility and duty to his family, his country, and his community. Moab was his home, and he felt concern for the well-being of the town. He helped establish the ambulance service while he was on the Grand County Commission. While serving on the Allen Memorial Hospital Board, he helped initiate the extended care unit. He was involved in the establishment of Ken’s Lake while he was serving on Grand County Water Conservancy District, of which he was a director for many years. He also served on the Southeast Regional Advisory Council with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, on the Moab Historical Preservation Committee, and on the Grand County Planning and Zoning Board.

D.L. dedicated much of his life to the legacy he inherited and the land and animals that he loved. He was always looking to improve the land, leaving the range and the ranch in the best condition for the future. Because of his diligence, he received much recognition. In 1985, the Utah Section, Society for Range Management awarded him “Rancher of the Year.” The State of Utah presented D.L. with a “Utah Century Farm and Ranch,” Award in 1991, and in 1995, the Grand County Soil Conservation District awarded the Taylors the “Conservation Family of the Year.” He served in various positions on the presidency of the Southeastern Utah Cattlegrowers Association, on the Moab District Grazing Advisory Board, on the National Cattlemen’s Association Public Lands Council, and as Vice President of the Utah Cattlemen’s Association, who later awarded him, “Cattleman of the Year.”

D.L. wore many hats over the years he spent forging his legacy. No matter which hat he wore, he made the world around him a little better, and the tradition of hard work, honesty, and integrity will pass from him down through his family for years to come.

D.L. is survived by his wife of 66 years, Colleen; three children – Don (Tracy) Taylor, Dee (Tammy) Taylor, and Kelly; his brother Jeff (Pam) Taylor; his sister Suzanne (Andy) Hood; five grandchildren – Ryan (Nichole) Taylor, Mike (Heather) Taylor, Dylan (Heather) Taylor, Morgan (Tyler) Harris, and Ben Taylor; eight great-grandchildren with one soon to come; and many close friends. D.L. is preceded in death by his parents, Lester and Helen, and two brothers.

The cowboy rode away, but the ride hasn’t ended.


On behalf of our students, staff and trustees, I wish to express condolences to the extended Taylor family on the death of patriarch, D.L.

I recall meeting D.L. and Colleen through Robin Wilson in the mid 80's as we started CFI. D.L. and Colleen came to speak to one of our first group of students at Professor Valley Field Camp to share history and ranching perspectives. My subsequent encounters were mostly in meetings or events; D.L.'s concern for community at large, his articulate, dignified and kind demeanor are qualities that first come to mind as I think of him.

Our Field Camp, in 2014, moved to the 40 acres previously owned by his brother Joe Taylor and others. We have tried to learn as much as we can about the human history of that area, starting with the Native Americans and later settlers, in particular the Goudelock, Taylor, Larsen, McPherson and Wilson families... Our staff will continue to respectfully share their stories, and obligations to care for this special place.

In sympathy,
- Karla VanderZanden, Canyonlands Field Institute

My sisters and I were sad to hear of DL's passing.

I was glad that the obituary contained information about DL's concern for the land.

I remember that there was a huge grasshopper infestation on the mountain and in Castle Valley. I was relieved to hear that DL and Lester decided to use a grasshopper bait that would only kill the grasshoppers and birds, or other insects. That was just many of the actions taken by the Taylor's to preserve the land.

It is a legacy to be proud off.

- Dennis Gregory Sweeney

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