Retired Judge Edgar P. Taylor died peacefully in his sleep April 8 in Los Gatos. He was 81.
According to daughter Katherine Taylor Hall, her father served on the Santa Clara County Superior Court bench for 12 years.
After retirement in Albuquerque, NM, he returned to Los Gatos with his beloved wife Patricia and continued to preside over certain cases on a part-time, as-needed basis.
Prior to his appointment to the Superior Court, he also worked as a Los Gatos Municipal Court judge on Capri Drive for at least 15 years, she said.
"My dad was an amazingly brilliant, funny, kind man," Taylor Hall said. "We're so grateful that our father is now reunited with our mother. She was the love of his life."
Wife "Patsy," as she was endearingly called, however, was diagnosed with cancer and died in December of 2003 after celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
Asked what big cases her father had presided over, Taylor Hall said Judge Taylor "did not bring work home ... he did criminal court, but he never wanted to discuss it with us."
Admirers of Judge Taylor's intelligence and wit were saddened when he became afflicted with dementia several years ago.
Los Gatos resident James Manganello said Judge Taylor and his family lived on Glen Ridge Avenue for several years.
"He was very close to everyone in town ... He was a much loved person," Manganello said, who will be giving the eulogy speech at his memorial service on Monday, April 16.
"He was a legendary figure in the court system," Manganello continued.
Judge Taylor started what Manganello called an "early calendar" which meant settlements could be done faster and worked with a team of public defenders and district attorneys and private attorneys to settle cases.
"The best part of it was that he was this incredibly engaging person who was able to have people sit down on very opposite positions such as police officers, attorneys, argue about cases and come up with settlements. That's pretty special and he was able to keep it simple."
In fact, after cases were settled, Judge Taylor would throw parties and gatherings at his Los Gatos home, Manganello said.
The leader of the band Workhouse Poets worked with Judge Taylor for 30 years as a criminal sentencing specialist for the Santa Clara County Probation Department.
He said Judge Taylor was a Stanford guy and a legendary jurist in the county.
He is survived by daughters Beverly, Gretchen, Katherine, of Los Gatos; and Tricia, Santa Cruz Mountains.
Eight grandchildren also survive him. His brother Bill preceded him in death.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. at Saint Andrews Episcopal Church, in Saratoga on Monday, April 16.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Cedar Creek Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Center, 15245 National Ave., Los Gatos, 95032 or the Alzheimer's Association at 1060 La Avenida, Mountain View, 94043.