Return to Obituaries |   Click here to email condolences to the family

In Memory of
John Kemper Taylor, Sr.
May 19, 1935 - January 5, 2021

John Kemper Taylor Sr., age 85, of Westerville, Ohio, died of COVID-related causes on Jan. 5. He was born on May 19, 1935, in New Lexington, Ohio. A graduate of The Ohio State University, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and taught radio operators at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia. After his military service, he earned a law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law. John then moved his young family to Newark, Ohio, and established a law practice in 1966, also serving as the Heath City Attorney and Granville Village Attorney. He served as Licking County Municipal Court Judge from 1974 to 1983, when he was appointed to serve as the Perry County Probate/Juvenile Court Judge in New Lexington, where he was born and raised. In the early 1990s, John served as Vice President and General Counsel for American Marietta Corp. in Marietta, Ohio. His membership in the Marietta Rotary Club led him to volunteer as part of a team sent to Managua, Nicaragua, for Operation Smile. He also tutored Occupational Work Experience students at Marietta High School. He was named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International. John was a member of the Masons and Shriners wherever he lived and was a life-long Democrat. He enjoyed fishing, golfing and riding his motorcycle with friends. While he lived in Perry County, he and his wife, Judie, were very proud of having restored the Civil War-era General Philip H. Sheridan house, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and located on Route 13 in Somerset, and would often open the home to tours. Judge Taylor was known for being warm and witty but also firm, fair and precise punctuality and proper decorum were required in his courtroom. He was an avid bird watcher and Cincinnati Reds fan, enjoying Big Red Machine games with his kids. He never tired of certain favorite sayings, such as Nobodys perfekt (sic) and Eat that it will put hair on your chest, causing much eye-rolling. His beautiful bass singing voice was a staple of the First United Methodist Church choir in Newark, under the direction of Margaret Agin, for many years. Judge Taylor was preceded in death by his parents, John Ward Taylor (who died of the Hong Kong flu in 1968) and Florence Ethel (Kemper) Taylor, and by his brother, George E. Taylor. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Judith Mae (Hamilton) Taylor, and their four children: Valerie (Thomas) Nester and Jocelyn (James Matthew) Green, both of Westerville; Amy (Ronald Jr.) Rollins of Kettering, Ohio; and John K. Taylor Jr. (Michelle) of Columbus. John is also survived by grandchildren Alexis (Patrick) Dunton and Lee Rollins (fiancee Melanie Mack); Marshall, Paige and Claire Sterling; and Jade, Jesse and Victoria Green, as well as by his great-grandchildren Duffy, Luke and Colette Dunton, Kayleigh Michael and Lily LaTorre. The family is honoring Johns wishes to be cremated with no additional services. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made in Johns name to The Wilds, 14000 International Road, Cumberland, OH 43732 (, where the family once spent a wonderful vacation at the lodge.


Linda & Paul Prachun

Jan 10, 2021

So sorry to hear of Your Dad's passing. He was certainly one of a kind! We will recall our travels with fondness, and still are amazed how he was able to traverse the Umbros Gorge in Crete - in his 70's - a day long trek, harrowing and not for the faint of heart. Thinking of you all at this remarkably hard time. Fondly, Linda and Paul


Jan 10, 2021

RIP Kemp, I will see you in Chapter Eternal. Phi Alpha Brother


Bonnie Donnelly

Jan 11, 2021

I'm so sorry for your loss, Judy. And to the COVID, such a terrible disease. We have lost several friends now; seems to be relentless. I hope you don't have it. Please know I'm praying for you as you have to adjust to life in a whole new way. Peace be with you, friend. love, Bonnie


Andrew Dunton

Jan 12, 2021

Our Deepest Sympathies on the passing of your beloved Father and Grandfather. Sincerely, Andrew and Jeanne Dunton Seminole, FL


Bob & Judy Coil

Jan 16, 2021

Judy: Quite by chance I looked for John on the Net only to find he had recently passed. Both Judy and I offer our sincere condolences to you and your lovely family. I want you to know that I have missed John's company, advise and loyalty for the past 27 years. He provided the company to grow exponentially. He was a gentlemen, business man and a true friend. Unfortunately the bank literally put us out of business because we could not provide a financial statement, good bad or great. We went over 1.6 years with no credit and eventually we redid our books with a CPA and borrowed 7.5 million on our assets. My moves during that period were particularly difficult and John's move was my hardest decision. I really enjoyed John's company and friendship. I miss that voice of John's and his character. I am sorry that we were unable to maintain our frienship but friends last foreover. I hope John found time in his heart to forgive me.