Memorial Spaceflights

Mark Alan Taylor

"Life & Joy to family & friends. Forever Loved. IYM"
1961 - 2021


July 2, 1961 - April 3, 2021

How do you sum up an entire life and all it meant in just a few short paragraphs? I can give you dates and a running history of where Mark went, who his family was, what he did for work, and what his accomplishments were. But is that who Mark was? These things helped form him and some of them changed the direction his life would progress. But who he was, how he was the center to all those around him, that is difficult to condense. I want very much for the world to know and see Mark the way I did.

Mark was laughter. Mark laughed every single day. He found humor in everything he did and everywhere he went. If you were with Mark at some point you would be laughing too. He loved to tease, tell stories and jokes, and to make others laugh with him. When you ask anyone who knew him what they remember about him, it's guaranteed his laugh is at the top of the list. Mark could find something funny and begin that uncontrollable, tears running down your face, stomach hurting laugh. He could then remember that thing years later and start laughing all over again.

Mark was loyal, he cultivated friendships from high school that lasted until his death. He stood for those who worked for and with him, lending a hand or taking blame if something went wrong. You could always count on Mark to do what he told you he would do. Mark was the one who would make plans and who traveled to be with friends and family.He made every effort to keep relationships active.

Mark had an impeccable work ethic. Mark was driven to do his best at every place of employment. He became a manager at Hardee's by the time he was 20, was a Sergeant in the United States Army within four years, and managed an installation group at Verizon until he was no longer able to work.Mark filled leadership positions in all his careers because of his ability to see the big picture. This allowed him to accomplish goals with his group that led to award winning performances. Mark felt his first priority was to take care of his people, to support their needs both at work and at home.Everyone that worked for Mark knew they were his priority and in return performed at a world class level.

Mark was a family man. He was my partner for 35 years; I say partner because we were a team. Mark shared the work, the fun, and the hardships of life. Mark was more than just Steven's and Morgan's dad, he was present for his children and shared in their struggles and accomplishments. Family did not just mean our core four, it included his sister, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, parents, grandparents, and in-laws. When Mark was young vacation meant visiting family. Mark continued to ensure our family stayed connected by spending time together. Because of Mark our family has forged bonds that will not be broken.

Mark loved to travel and explore. He called our family road trips vacation extravaganzas. Mark always wanted to see new places, to experience new things, but he wanted to do these things with friends and those he loved. He planned and mapped routes, found lodging, and invited everyone to join in. Mark also loved spending his time with cars, all kinds of cars, but mostly fast ones.He could spend endless amounts of time cleaning and driving his cars, but he also just appreciated the beauty of vehicles and loved to attend car shows. He was fascinated with space, planets, and the galaxyHe spent many hours learning all he could about the cosmos. Mark would find a way to golf every chance he got. So many of the people he cared about could join in this activity which made it all the more special to him.Today I spend more hours than I ever imagined trying to maintain what started out as a flower bed. The gardens in our yard are full of the plants he loved and cared for, and are the envy of the neighborhood.Mark loved music, I would say his favorite was classic rock but you could not limit the genres he loved. Mark's cloud holds over 4000 songs.He listened to music every opportunity he had: washing the car, working in the yard, or traveling to be with family. If there was a way to do something with music, Mark found a way.

Mark was strong physically but even more so mentally. His will to be with us throughout his battle with cancer is still an amazement to me. As he had to face losses and pain he still found a way to love and laugh. When life is difficult we often think of ourselves and how hard it is for us, but Mark continually thought of me and our family. He worried about our future. He did not waste time on anger or self pity. He understood how precious our time was, and he did all he could to make the most of every moment.

When Mark and I would talk of what his wishes were after his death, he would say, ''Just shoot me to the moon." I thought he was saying this in jest and did not realize it was something we could really doSo I am sending my partner and best friend to the moon. Mark would love that I am doing this and I will forever look at the moon and remember the gift of Mark in my life.

Mark Alan Taylor

BornJuly 2, 1961, in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina

Died:April 3, 2021, in Frederick, Maryland

GraduatedNorthside High School, Roanoke,Virginia

Served in the United States Army: September 30,1981 - March 29,1986 Career in Telecommunication: MCI Mail, MCI Installation, Teleglobe Install Manager, Verizon Install Manager

Parents: Clifford Russell Taylor and Carol Sue Taylor

Sister: Pamela Kay Taylor Davis, Brother-in-law Frederick Nash Davis

Married: November 14,1986 to Teresa Lynn Shackelford

Son: Steven Russell Taylor

Daughter: Morgan Leigh Pagonis, Son-in-law Gregory Joseph Pagonis

Grandson: Cole Taylor Pagonis

Family and Friends: There are simply too many of you to list every person. There is no way to express how important all these different relationships were to Mark and in turn to our family. It didn't matter if you grew up with Mark, met him toward the end of his careerwent to a car show, or a golf tripMaybe he talked to you everyday or caught up once in a while on Facebook. Know you are forever part of our lives and hold a special place in our hearts. 

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