In Memory of James W. Taylor

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Jan. 6, 1942 – March 1, 2015

James W. Taylor, a poet and photographer, died Sunday, March 1, 2015 in his Buffalo home after a 21-month struggle with ocular melanoma. He was 73.

Jim grew up in West Seneca, Springville and Cheektowaga, and graduated from West Seneca High School in 1960. A Marine Corps veteran, he was based in San Diego, Hawaii and Japan, and rose to the rank of lance corporal before receiving an honorable discharge in 1963. He later graduated from the University at Buffalo with a bachelor of arts degree in English, and also did post-graduate work in adult education through Syracuse University.

He was active in the Buffalo poetry scene in the 1960s and 1970s. A collection of his poetry, “Circe Poems,” was published in 1971.

Jim worked in a variety of occupations, including Republic Steel and Chevrolet, and was a medical photographer for the former E.J. Meyer Memorial Hospital during the 1970s.

In the early 1980s, he took over his father’s business, Franklin-Haws Jewelry Manufacturing Co. in the Root Building, making school rings and other jewelry. He also was a job counselor for the Broadway-Fillmore Area Council and later worked in computer technical support for Ingram Micro and HSBC Bank.

Jim spent many hours photographing nature, but his real passion was poetry. On Sept. 27, 2014, he read at Just Buffalo Literary Center’s “100,000 Poets & Artists for Change.”

Other interests included bike rides around Buffalo, travel, art museums, environmental protection and cooking for family and friends. He shared his love of life and learning with his daughters.

Survivors include his wife of 32 years, Holly Baum; his daughters, Esther Baum-Taylor and Courtney Sorrento; two sisters, Judy Collado and Janet; and a brother, Jean. Jim was also a proud grandfather to Andrea Sorrento.

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