Robert Lee Taylor dies at 91

Maryland National Bank official, World War II veteran and freelance writer

April 23, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Robert Lee Taylor, a retired Maryland National Bank official and freelance writer, died April 18 of pneumonia at his Timonium residence. He was 91.

Mr. Taylor, the son of a Baltimore & Ohio Railroad worker and a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and raised in Hamilton. After graduating in 1936 from Loyola High School, he attended Strayer Business College.

In 1942, Mr. Taylor enlisted in the Army Air Forces, where he served in the intelligence section of the 2nd Air Division at Shipdham Air Force Base in England.

His vivid wartime memories included the 17-day Atlantic convoy aboard the French merchant ship Chantilly in 1943, and surviving the terrifying Ash Wednesday night attack by German U-boats that sank five ships including the SS Andrea F. Luckenbach, which "lit the sky from horizon to horizon," Mr. Taylor recalled.

Discharged in 1945 with the rank of staff sergeant, Mr. Taylor attended the Johns Hopkins University on the GI Bill of Rights and earned a bachelor's degree in business in 1953.

He began his banking career that year as a trainee with the old Baltimore National Bank, which eventually became Maryland National Bank.

Mr. Taylor became an assistant cashier in 1960, assistant vice president two years later and vice president in 1964. In 1970, he was named head of the bank's securities department, managing its portfolio.

He was senior vice president at his retirement in 1984.

He had been president of the Municipal Bond Club of Baltimore and active in the local chapter of the American Institute of Banking.

In his retirement, Mr. Taylor became a prolific contributor to the op-ed page of The Evening Sun, writing on economic topics as well as on a wide variety of other subjects.

He enjoyed playing tennis, walking three miles a day and completing crosswords. He was a fan of classic Hollywood movies, the theater and big-band music.

He was a member of the Johns Hopkins Club and the Jane Austen Society.

Mr. Taylor was a communicant and lector at Old St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Charles and Saratoga streets, where funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Surviving are his wife of 48 years, the former Allene Turner Petts, a retired Federal Reserve Bank official; two nieces; and a nephew.

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