Walter L. Taylor Jr., 87, Evening Sun sportswriter

December 16, 2003

Walter L. Taylor Jr., a former Evening Sun sportswriter who later became an ordained United Methodist Church deacon, died of Alzheimer's disease Wednesday at Charlestown Retirement Community. He was 87.

Mr. Taylor was born in Baltimore and raised in Walbrook. He was a 1933 graduate of City College and earned a bachelor's degree in history in 1937 from what was then Western Maryland College.

He began his career in 1937 in the sports department of the old News Post, and joined the Evening Sun in 1940.

During World War II, he served in Europe with the Army Medical Corps and contributed sports stories to the military newspaper Stars and Stripes.

After the war, he returned to The Evening Sun, covering professional baseball, basketball and football. He also covered the Colts for many years, until retiring in 1976.

In his retirement, he began studying at Wesley Seminary in Washington and was ordained a United Methodist Church deacon in 1978. He served at Olive Branch United Methodist Church in Locust Point and later at Glen Burnie United Methodist Church, retiring in 1985.

A longtime Catonsville resident, he had coached PONY League baseball teams and was active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

In 1986, Mr. Taylor was inducted into the Baltimore Sports Media Hall of Fame.

Since 1994, he and his wife of 57 years, the former Alta Van Gilder, lived at the retirement community in Catonsville, where he was active in pastoral care and sang with the men's chorale.

A memorial service is being planned for next month.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Taylor is survived by a daughter, Barbara Byron of Ellicott City, and four granddaughters. Another daughter, Sharon T. Denton, died in 2000.

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