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John P. Taylor

John P. "Jack" Taylor, a Santa Rosa stockbroker for half a century and a life of the party who relished sharing his critiques of hospital cafeteria food, died Wednesday.

Taylor served many terms on the city's Recreation and Parks Commission and counted among his favorite pursuits international and U.S. travel, golf, tennis, leisure time with his large family, oral history interviews of fellow old-time Santa Rosans and the collegiality of the private Wild Oak Saddle Club. He was 89.

The World War II veteran was one of Santa Rosa's best known and most experienced investment advisers when he retired in 1997 from A.G. Edwards. A Press Democrat story recounting his long and productive career noted that he'd watched the Dow Jones Industrial Average climb from about 200 points to nearly 7,000.

The day he died at his Santa Rosa home, it closed at 16,518.

Taylor was a successful man who enjoyed helping others to succeed. He also was pre-Google storehouse of information on stocks, bonds, intriguing domestic and foreign destinations, random knowledge and the best and worst hospital grub.

"He had a phenomenal memory," said longtime friend Henry Trione. "I called him Mr. Encyclopedia."

Jim Codding met Taylor shortly after he came to Santa Rosa in 1949 to go into the stocks-and-bonds business with his father, John J. Taylor.

"He gave more to everyone than he ever asked for in return," Codding said.

"He was a wonderful friend and a great storyteller. I think he made up a lot of stories as he went along, but they were always entertaining."

Codding is grateful also to Taylor for teaching him to play dominoes, though "it was an expensive education."

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