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Longtime Manchester Times newspaper carrier and World War II veteran Austin Taylor died Saturday, July 5. He was 91.
“When I first started at the Times as a part-time sports writer back in 2005, Austin was a steady presence here in the building,” said Times editor Josh Peterson. “He only had to be here once a week to pick up the papers, but it seemed like he was always around, chatting with everyone and bringing so much cheer to the building.
“The world has lost a good man,” added Peterson. “Even after he retired from the newspaper he would stop by almost every week to pick up a newspaper and he was always armed with a smile on his face and a joke to brighten the room. The world could use more people like him.”
Taylor retired from the Manchester Times in Oct. of 2006 after spending two decades delivering the newspaper to the community. He occasionally substituted as a carrier after his retirement.
After marrying his wife Edna Browning Taylor, who precedes him in death, Taylor went into the United States Army and served with the 84th Infantry for 2 ½ years during World War II. He fought in historic battles, including Battle of the Bulge and Normandy Beach.
“You just do what you have to do and that’s it,” Taylor said in a 2006 Manchester Times article chronicling his time in the military. “You’re not even thinking what you have to do, you just go and that’s it. They put us in after all the boats had landed at Normandy Beach and then we went on through France. We talked on the way about how it was going to get physical, but you just hope and pray that you’re going to come back home. We didn’t go along thinking ‘are we going to get killed?’ Didn’t never give that much thought. Sure, we were scared with artillery blowing everywhere, but you just do what you have to do.”
Taylor also spent nearly 20 years delivering Meals on Wheels to local residents, delivering 12 meals a day on Mondays and Fridays. He spent nearly two decades working for Carrier and he worked at Redd’s Department Store, formerly located on the Historic Manchester Square.
Funeral service for Taylor will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Manchester Funeral Home, 214 E. Main St. Visitation will be 10 a.m. until time of service. Burial will follow at Manchester City Cemetery.