John Owen "Jack" Taylor, of Covington, Ind., passed away Dec. 10, 2016, at home at the age of 81.
Visitation will be 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, at Pape Family Funeral Home, 10 E. Williams St., Danville. A Celebration of Life will follow at 1 p.m. with burial at Newtown-Hebron Cemetery immediately after.
Mr. Taylor was born July 3, 1935, at Jamesburg, Ill., to Ike and Nina Taylor.
He married Carolyn Philips Hillborn on July 3, 1979, in Champaign.
He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Carolyn, along with seven children: Diana (Greg) Vocks of Kincaid, Ill., Kathleen (Kirk) Vocks of Taylorville, Ill., Barbara Taylor of Taylorville, Ill., Donna (Rudy) Melzer of Philo, Ill., Jennifer (David) Hill of Kincaid, Ill., Gary (Melody) Taylor of Scio, Ore., and James (Pamela) Taylor of Littleton, Colo.; 16 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren. Also surviving is a sister, Dean Hickman, and many nieces and nephews. His parents, a sister Edna and a brother Robert preceded him in death.
Jack enjoyed his children and grandchildren and the many camping trips and racing events that he and his beloved companion and wife attended over the years. He was an avid Illini fan and an auto-racing enthusiast. At the age of 68, he founded and co-hosted the website Midwest Dirt Track Facts.com.
In 1967, he founded and published the Illinois Prep Sports Special, a weekly newspaper devoted entirely to Illinois high school athletics based in Taylorville. Over the span of many years he was involved with three other local newspapers as a columnist. His favorite quotation, which he used often in his columns, was, "When I pick up the newspaper, I turn to the sports page and first read of man's accomplishments. I then turn to the front page and read of man's defeats."
Pallbearers Matthew Vocks, Brian Vocks, Adam Vocks, Bradley Taylor, Tyler Vocks, Caleb Taylor, Hunter Vocks and Brandon Jones will help to carry me that final lap.
Messages and memories may be left on our website at www.papefuneral.com, or on the Pape Family Funeral Home Facebook page. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Jack's name to an organization of the donor's choice.
Published on  December 12, 2016