Buster Taylor

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

George Oscar "Buster" Taylor, 87, of Glenns Ferry, died Friday, March 28, 2008, at home.

A graveside inurnment service will be held Friday April 4, 2008 at 11 a.m., at Glenn Rest Cemetery in Glenns Ferry, followed by a wake at the VFW Hall, on 5th and Lincoln Streets, in Glenns Ferry. Cremation was under the direction of Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel in Mountain Home.

Buster was born March 3, 1921, in Eaton, Idaho, on a ranch approximately six miles from Weiser, to Richard and Rebecca Taylor. He was the eighth of nine children. He attended Eaton Annex School, Haas and Weiser High Schools. After high school he worked on his family ranch and other ranches in the surrounding area until 1942 when he joined the United States Navy.

After attending diesel mechanic and barber schools he was commissioned to the Navy ship LST 467 as a mechanic and the barber. Buster served two tours of duty in World War II, including one along the west coast of the United States, from San Francisco to Astoria, where he lost several friends when the Japanese submarines sunk some Liberty ships at the mouth of the Columbia River. His second tour of duty was in New Guinea and the Philippine Islands, and at one point he took the slain ship's gunner position and shot Japanese planes that were attacking the ships at sea.

Buster was discharged from the Navy in December 1945 with the rank of First Class Petty Officer (Engineman Diesel), and returned to the family farm for a short time.

He married Margaret Ann "Peggy" Johnson on July 21, 1946. She was the love of his life for nearly 62 years, his family said. They moved to Glenns Ferry where he was employed as a butcher at his father-in-law's grocery store until 1951 when he was re-called to the Navy to serve in the Korean War. He was assigned to ship LSU# 1331 as a Motor-Machinist 1st Class until his honorable discharge in December 1952, when he returned to Glenns Ferry to work for the city maintenance and police departments.

In 1958 Buster went to work for Elmore County as a deputy sheriff, along with Deputy Bob Mendiola, under Sheriff Earl Winters, and for the next 25 years he enforced the law for all of Elmore County.

In 1959 the couple adopted their only son, Gary, and they "enjoyed many family vacations, hunting, camping, fishing, and exploring his beloved Idaho together," his family said.

He retired from the sheriff's department on March 31, 1983, and drove school bus for the Glenns Ferry School District for seven years before retiring at age 70.

Buster loved his home town and served it well, his family said with pride. He joined the Volunteer Fire Department in 1946 and remained active for 43 years, retiring but still involved, in 1991.

He taught firearms safety courses to the Boy Scout Troops, remained involved in local city events including driving the oldest fire engine in the annual Fourth of July parade, shuttling visitors to the annual Three Island Crossing events held every August, and receiving awards for his service in the Glenns Ferry Chamber of Commerce. He was involved in the Senior Center until he became ill.

"He loved his hometown, and the people in it," his family said. "A person never left his home empty handed, whether it was food, or some treasure he had found, or something he had crafted from wood or rock.

"He enjoyed shooting, hunting, fishing and loading ammunition, and wood-working. He shared these talents and knowledge with his family and many friends in his lifetime.

"Buster defended his country, his county, his city and family with pride, integrity and quiet strength. He was loved by all who knew him, and we all are so blessed to have had him in our lives," they said.

He is survived by: his wife, Peggy; his son, Gary, and his wife, Sarah; two grandsons, a granddaughter, a great-granddaughter, and several cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by: his brothers, Alton, Howard, Ewing, Clay, Elmo, and Eddy, and his sisters, Rhoda and Mary Jean, extended family members "and many close friends and fellow service men."

Contributions can be made to the Glenns Ferry Senior Center, 492 E. Cleveland Ave., Glenns Ferry, ID 83623, in lieu of flowers.