David Ray “Smokey” Taylor, 86, passed away Thursday, November 2, 2023, at Rose Lane Nursing Home in Massillon, Ohio, with his son and daughter-in-law by his side.
Smokey was born October 28, 1936, in Masontown, WV to the late Charles and Agatha (Spurgeon) Taylor. He left school after the 8th grade to become a mechanic, and his love of cars stayed with him his entire life. When he was just 15, he went to the BMV in Preston County and claimed to be a year older, just to get his driver’s license early. He was drafted into the Army in 1960 and spent time in Germany doing what he loved most – working on vehicles. After his time in the Army, he moved to Bazetta, Ohio to be with his family, and began working at General Motors in Lordstown. His son David “JR” was born in 1979 and made Smokey a dad – the most important job he ever had. Every year, he would ask JR to pick a place on the map, and they would take a two-week vacation to travel, eventually visiting 47 states together. In Smokey’s own words, “Not too bad for a hillbilly that never finished school!” He was able to retire from GM in 1994 and found he could dedicate even more time to tinkering in his garage.
Smokey also shared his love of cars with his extended family. He taught quite a few of them how to drive, fixed their cars when needed, and shared advice on what vehicle to buy. He was a generous man, always willing to help those he loved. He will be remembered for his love of driving too fast, spending his weekends driving to West Virginia to visit family and friends, good country music, and spending time outdoors.
Smokey is survived by his son and daughter in law, David “JR” and Anne Taylor, grandson Mason Taylor, two nephews: Steve (Nancy) Metheny and Chuck (Robyn) Metheny, several great nieces and nephews, including Smiley, Snicklefritz, Monster, and Bright Eyes, and a host of extended and chosen family throughout Ohio and West Virginia. He will also be sorely missed by his grandpup, JR’s golden retriever Lil’ Willie Nelson, who always put a smile on his face.
Besides his parents, Smokey was preceded in death by his best friend and sister, Nellie “Sis” (Wesley) Metheny, nieces Cheryl Fitzpatrick and Connie Armintrout, and best friend and brother Harry “Bud” (Liz) Sisler.
Smokey would always say he wasn’t “one for dressing up”. As such, friends may dress casually and call from 5 to 7 pm on November 8, 2023, at Lane Funeral Home, Roberts-Clark Chapel, 180 Garfield Dr NE in Warren. Funeral service with military honors to follow immediately after calling hours. Interment will be in Hillside Cemetery at a later date.