Jerry King Taylor passed from this life on August 2, 2020. He was born to Joe K. Taylor and Karen Ruth Sullivan Taylor in Roscoe, Texas, on November 6, 1939.

Hailing from West Texas pioneer stock, he was raised in Coleman, Texas, since the age of two. He spent his youth working on Coleman County ranches and on his grandfather’s farm in Tom Green County. These early experiences developed a deep love and appreciation for ranching and farming which became his life’s work. Among his early mentors were his grandfather, W.J. Sullivan and Zeno Hemphill. Jerry attributed any success he had to these men and the lessons they taught him.

Taylor was educated in Coleman schools. He played football and was a member of FFA. He graduated from Coleman High School at the age of sixteen, but his parents thought him too young to go to college. He remained in school as an assistant football coach and ag. teacher. He graduated with the class of 1957.

He entered Texas A&M College in the fall of the same year where he was in the Corps of Cadets, Company C-1. After he broke his leg in an accident his sophomore year, he lived in the horse barn and worked at the horse center. He was a member of the Aggie Rodeo team and qualified for the NIRA Finals in steer wrestling.

At the request of President Earl Rudder, Jerry helped find and return a stolen BEVO in the Brazos River bottom. He also successfully bred the Texas Tech Red Raider mare to a Jack to produce a mule colt as a “surprise.”  Since then the Red Raider has not ridden a mare.

He graduated A&M in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and in 1964 with his master’s degree in Animal Science. He had a deep pride and love for all things A&M and was pleased when both his daughters and two granddaughters became Aggies.

He married Ruth Ann Hemphill in Coleman on June 6, 1964, and they began their life farming and ranching in Coleman County with Ruth Ann teaching in the Coleman schools. Their first daughter, Betsy was born. Soon predators and drought forced them to seek employment and Jerry became the general manager for Barnhart Farms and Ranches in 1968.

The family moved to Gonzales County where Jerry would manage seven South Texas ranches and cattle in Kansas and Nebraska for Paul F. Barnhart gaining knowledge and experience over the next twelve years. Their second daughter, Jody, was born in Cuero, Texas.

In 1981, Jerry was hired as the general manager of vast South Texas holdings for a family from Chicago. He used traditional, time tested ranching practices along with a very progressive and unique management style that would bring this ranch to its fullest production potential. Through great vision, hard work and sacrifice, Jerry was able to realize his life-long dream of leading a large, successful ranching operation.

While at El Sauz Jerry was instrumental in developing a conservation plan to create a sustainable grazing program and commercial hunting operation. He expanded the ranch’s vision to include large scale row crop farming and aquaculture. Jerry’s God given talents along with his tremendous vision streamlined the ranch into an efficient and profitable business that was admired by many of his peers. He was ever mindful that it was an extreme honor and blessing to be a steward of God’s creation.

Jerry “retired” from El Sauz Ranch in 2012 and he and Ruth Ann returned to Coleman County. Jerry continued to serve El Sauz Ranch in an advisory capacity until his death. Jerry was the second longest tenured manager of El Sauz Ranch in its 227 year history.

Whatever he was involved in, he gave it his all. Jerry was a Texas A&M Century Club Member, 4-H Volunteer Leader and served on the Texas 4-H Horse Show Committee. He served on the Board of Directors for Tip of Texas Girl Scout Council, He was a Lifetime Member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Commercial Bull & Female Committee, Coleman Rodeo Association and Raymondville Rotary Club and the Coleman United Methodist Church.

He was a long time member, Director and Honorary Director for Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raiser’s Association where he served on the Executive Committee and as chairman for several committees. He knew beyond all doubt the value of TSCRA and its great importance to the ranching industry and counted it an honor to serve the organization for many years. The friendships made and the relationships formed with the fine men and women in the association were among his most treasured.

Throughout his many years of service, Jerry was recognized with many awards. In 1989, he received the Willacy County 4-H Adult Leaders award. In 1991, he received the Meritorious Service Award in recognition of his support in Agricultural Educational Programs from the South Texas County Agricultural Agents. In 1997, the Fort Worth Star -Telegram recognized Jerry and the El Sauz Ranch staff as among Texas’ Best in Ranch Management to name a few.

As a small boy, Jerry listened to his grandfather, Charles Harrison McClain Taylor, tell stories of driving cattle up the trails and fighting Indians. From these stories came his deep love of the great state of Texas and its history. Jerry was a voracious reader, which was encouraged by his mother, and he was a perpetual student of Texas, U.S., and firearm histories. He was also an avid collector of antique John Deere tractors.

He did not tolerate willful ignorance, laziness or dishonesty. He was a true and faithful friend to many and was a gifted storyteller, often entertaining groups of people with his vivid accounts of his experiences. His ability to remember details and facts, recount events and chance encounters always allowed his audience a unique insight into his very colorful character.

Jerry was a husband, father, friend, cattleman, cowboy, horseman, Aggie, storyteller and historian; but most importantly he was a Christian.

Jerry is survived by his wife of 56 years, Ruth Ann, his daughters, Elizabeth (Betsy) Allen and Josaphine (Jody) Brown and husband Austin E. Brown III, five grandchildren, Lizzie E. Allen and fiancé Haden Roberts, Taylor McClain Allen (currently studying for her masters in Scotland), William O. Allen, Austin E. Brown IV, and Addie Ruth Brown, sister Vicki Brown and husband Weyman Brown.

Pallbearers are William Allen, Austin Brown IV, Haden Roberts, Fred Nieto, Heath Hemphill, Cody Scogin, Ben Taylor and Joel Drummond.

The family will host a visitation from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday, August 3, at Stevens Funeral Home Chapel, 400 W. Pecan Street, in Coleman. 

A funeral service will take place at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 4, at the First United Methodist Church, 500 W. Liveoak Street, in Coleman.  Interment will follow at the Coleman City Cemetery.  A reception will follow the committal service in the fellowship hall of the First United Methodist Church. 

Honorary pallbearers are Ted Taylor, Joe Pat Hemphill, Charlie Hemphill, Jack Scogin, Marcos Greaves, Bruce McKee, Lupe Nieto, Austin Brown II, Richard Williams, Jack Horne, Don Best, Tommy Saunders, Henry Dodson, and the cowboys of El Sauz Ranch.

The family requests memorials be made to Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Foundation Scholarship fund or a charity of their choice.

Remembrances, condolences, and messages of comfort can be expressed to the family at www.livingmemorials.com.  Stevens Funeral Home is honored to serve the Taylor family.