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Judge Edgar Taylor Dies in Los Gatos

Retired Santa Clara County Superior Court judge died at Cedar Creek Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Center April 8.

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.

Lori Swanson April 13, 2012 at 03:03 AM
Judge Taylor and his wife Patsy, took me into their home for two years so I could pursue an education. As a friend of his daughters, he has treated me like his own for many many years. He was funny and fun, and extended his hand without ever making one feel indebted. He loved to share his blessings. With the onset of Alzheimer's, he has been missed, but it is hard to say that final good bye. Love to the family.
Jim Shea April 13, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Jim Shea Judge Taylor played quite a roll in my life. Both personally and professionaly. I started with the Los Gatos Police Dept. in 1965 and retired in 1985. Judge Taylor was one of the most fairest Judges and one of the nices man that anyone could know. Patsy was so grasious and never complained whenever we woke Judge Taylor up in the middle of the night for a search warrant or arrest warrant. He married our youngest son David. He will always be close to our hearts.
Laurence T. Furey April 14, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Edgar Taylor and I were classmates and close friends at Avalon High School on Catalina Island from 1942-1946. Ed was one of the school's most distinguished students then and in subsequent years, both academically and as a participant in various athletic programs. Ed was an excellent tennis competitor winning the school championship in 1946, a knowledgeable sports authority and both managed and played on the Avalon Lancer basketball and softball teams that competed successfully against US Army, Merchant Marine and Coast Guard teams from units stationed on the island during those World War Two years. Ed served as Student Body President, the AHS Representative to California Boy's State and was a National Merit Scholar. Our career paths diverged as Ed went on to Stanford University and then into the law profession and I spun off to the US Naval Academy via the University of Washington. When I returned to the island with my wife Pauline in 1978 we rendezvoused with Ed and his lovely wife Patsy. Over the intervening years we enjoyed a close relationship at Avalon High School "No Class" Reunions and visiting Patsy and Ed in Los Gatos. Ed will be long remembered and sorely missed by his numerous friends and associates. He was truly a gentleman and gentle man. Laurence "Tyke" Furey Captain, US Navy (Retired)
Debbie (Sherburne) Adkins April 14, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Hi my name is Debbie "Sherburne" Adkins and my family have been friends of the Taylors ever since Gretchen and my sister Cheryl (who we lost ) were in school together. We will miss Judge Taylor's great personality and the way he was always there for all of Los Gatos. Hey Gretchen...Just know that my dad and I are here for you and your sisters. Our prayers and thoughts are with you all and remember the good times we all had. I live in Arizona, but does not mean we can't keep in touch and so just call my dad and he will give you my phone number...we miss you. Take care Debbie...your other sister
Margaret Windle April 14, 2012 at 11:22 PM
My husband John was Edgar's classmate at Avalon High School along with Tyke Furey. All the alumni from the 40's stayed in close contact through the years and the small student body made that possible. Edgar was one of the first people my husband introduced to me and he and I hit it off immediately. Such a warm, witty guy. We looked forward to seeing Ed and Patsy every year and stayed in touch between reunions. Ed never bounced back after losing his beloved Patsy in 2003. We managed to keep in touch, even seeing him in late 2010 at the Center where we shared lunch and looked at all the old Catalina Islanders that were published when he was in HIgh School. Many of the memories came back to him and a smile arose from a previously expressionless face. He pointed to many things and talked about them. It was a precious few moments that Alzheimers hadn't stolen away from him yet. My husband and I along with another classmate, Carl Hammer were so happy to be a part of that. Rest in peace, our dear friend with your beloved Patsy. We look to meet again one day as I promised Patsy we would 8 years ago. Margaret Windle

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