On a sunlit morning nestled on a knoll facing the Blue Ridge humpbacked mountains and cattle farms located in the scenic Shenandoah Valley, a devout Christian has died.
Mr. Codie Rudolph Taylor, of 323 East Fairlawn Drive in Covington, died Tuesday, September 19, 2017, at the Blue Ridge Christian Home in Raphine, Virginia.
Mr. Taylor was born on Friday, November 12, 1920, in Paint Bank, Virginia, the second of four sons born to the late Albert Clyde Taylor and Ella Ruble Taylor. In addition to his parents, Codie was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 59 years, Ethelda Cook Taylor; three brothers, Corbett Taylor, C. D. Taylor, and Freddie Taylor.
Codie was a graduate of New Castle High School and later earned a chemical engineering degree. A native of Paint Bank, he moved to Covington and first joined the Covington plant of West Virginia Pulp and Paper in 1939 as a sampler in the K. M. Laboratory. Two years later he moved up to the pulp control lab. He joined the U. S. Navy Air Cadet Program on February 11, 1943, and became a pilot. In May of 1944, Codie married his wife, Ethelda Cook Taylor, in Tallahassee, Florida, and was stationed in Pensacola, Florida during his military service. He was discharged from the U. S. Navy on October 16, 1945. Codie continued in the naval air reserve and served as a lieutenant. In November 1945, he returned to Westvaco as supervisor in Pulp Control. In July 1961, he moved to the Pulp Mill as supervisor of digesters, semi-chemical and pulp control. In July 1970, he became a tour foreman and later was promoted in 1979 to supervisor in the Unbleached Pulp Mill. Codie retired from Westvaco on June 1, 1983, with 44 years of service.
Mr. Taylor was raised in Craig County in the Paint Bank Christian Church. After moving to Covington, First Christian Church was the basic landmark for him and his wife Ethelda. Codie became a deacon in 1946 and a couple of years later was asked to accept eldership. Over the years, he served in various capacities; as Chairman of the Elders, Chairman of the Church Board, General Superintendent of Sunday school, adult Sunday school teacher, and youth and teen teacher and sponsor giving special emphasis on the children’s programs with assistance from his wife and others. Blessed with a natural tenor voice, Codie sang in the Adult choir, duets, trios, quartets, and performed solos for church. He preached for the church in interim and in the absence of the preacher and filled the pulpit at area Christian congregations for many years. Codie always exhibited Biblical standards, ethics, and qualifications of a Christian leader, and he was the example set forth in classes and discussions on “faithful Christian leadership.” He and his wife visited the Holy Land a couple of times and he had read through the Bible seven times. Codie, Elder Emeritus, continued as a wise and faithful teacher and leader whose gracious spirit and composure never changed and whose golden tenor voice blessed many with solos for church services, funerals and weddings. He was a difference-maker through his example and model for First Christian Church. For over 65 years, his wise, faithful, and consistent Christian leadership was a blessing to the church.
Mr. Taylor is survived by a son, Daniel Codie Taylor and wife Theresa of Covington; a daughter Susan Taylor Russell and John of Cincinnati, Ohio; three grandchildren, Ben Codie Taylor (Amanda), Stacy Bergfeld (Kevin), and Jay Russell (Leigh Anne); five great grandchildren, Maddie Taylor, Jacob Taylor, Jesse Russell, Abigail Russell, and Emmett Bergfeld; a sister-in-law, Winona Cook Woodson of Covington; and a number of nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday, September 22, 2017, at First Christian Church with John Russell (son-in-law) and Jay Russell (grandson) officiating assisted by Bill Gilliland.
Interment will follow at Alleghany Memorial Park.
Graveside rites will be conducted by Curtis A. Smith Post No. 1033, Veterans of Foreign Wars.
The family will receive friends Thursday evening from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Arritt Funeral Home.
The family suggests that memorial tributes take the form of contributions to the First Christian Church Missions at 231 E. Fudge St. Covington, VA 24426.