Honoring a Life Well-Lived
We are saddened to announce the passing of Richard Taylor of Mansfield, Ohio, on Saturday, March 13th after a courageous 11-year battle with neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer. Richard was well-known in the antique vehicle hobby and was one of the “founding fathers” of the AACA Museum, Inc. He was deeply dedicated to his family, home-building business (Taylor Brothers Construction), and antique automobile hobby. He was the first person to serve as President of the Club, the Library, and the Museum (1996).
In advocating for the Museum, Richard brought both his antique automotive experience and construction knowledge to the table. Through his efforts, the “Taylor Building” became the first structure erected on the Museum’s property. Preceding the main building’s construction, it served as a workshop and vehicle storage facility, a role it continues to fulfill today. His experience in the trades allowed the Museum to maximize its financial resources during the building’s construction, which began in 2002. His insight led to provisions for future expansion and the inclusion of a geothermal climate control system. The Museum became one of the first major museums in America to employ this technology.
In addition, Richard served as a volunteer general foreman during the construction and move-in phases of the building. In this capacity, he made nearly weekly trips from Mansfield to Hershey to keep on top of the project’s many facets. He even lived onsite in his RV while he supervised the construction. As a result of his efforts, the Museum is a world-class facility.
Richard’s advocacy of the Museum was tireless. He and his wife, Mary Lou, made significant financial contributions and generously gave of their time. In 2019, the Museum established the William H. Smith Fellows Program to recognize those who have had a significant impact on the Museum’s success in fulfilling its mission. Richard was the first recipient of this award.
We are forever grateful to Richard, and we appreciate the Taylor family’s wishes to honor his life through the support of the Museum. Those wishing to make a contribution to the Museum in Richard’s memory may send a gift by mail (AACA Museum, Inc., 161 Museum Drive, Hershey, PA 17033 or make an online donation here. Please include “Richard Taylor Memorial” in your correspondence or online contribution.