We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Hart Funeral Home - Tahlequah
Luther Maxwell Taylor was born March 31, 1943 at Caney Oklahoma to Quilla and Ruth Taylor. He was the third of six children. He grew up around his Grandpa and Grandma, Ike and Mattie, sitting in house-to-house church meetings, and hearing and witnessing God's mercies. He learned at an early age to trust in God.
In his childhood, you would find him helping his family and neighbors work in the hayfields. At seven years old, he started driving a tractor using pedal extensions his father made for him. He began establishing his work ethic early on, working many long days and nights in the hayfields. Often, He would travel by tractor to other towns to work, having to stay overnight, sleeping in the fields, and searching for berries to eat when his father was delayed. When hay equipment would break down there was no other choice but to figure out how to fix it. It was a skill that later on became an invaluable second nature to him. From birth, he had trouble with his eyes. He would have to turn his head to the side to look forward, otherwise his pupils would shake uncontrollably. It was in grade school that it became more of a problem for him. Riding on the bus everyday made him sick to the point of vomiting and reading caused terrible headaches. The teachers had mercy and let him do his studies outside under a shade tree so he could relax. He recalled many nights catching up on homework at night by the light of a kerosene lantern. But as he reached high school, the teachers were no longer lenient, and it became too much on him to continue. His father decided to pull him out of school even after being warned by the principal that Luther would never amount to anything if he didn't have more than an eighth-grade education. But Luther's work ethic proved otherwise. He had trouble getting his driver's license due to the eye exam; however, after many failed attempts, the driving instructor decided to have mercy on him and pass him anyway. But, the driving instructor warned him to not drive carelessly like other youths because if he ever lost his license, he would never be able to get his license back. After gaining experience in the hayfields, he started working for a man named John Nickel. John was wanting to start a nursery and Luther became one of his first employees. This allowed Luther to begin what later became his lifelong career. Soon after, a church family from Tulare, California moved to Welling, and Luther met their daughter Linda, the love of his life. They quickly grew a fondness for each other. Luther and his sister Mary would pick up Linda and her sister Argylee and take them to church. During that time Luther began his walk with Christ and was baptized in the General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn on April 3rd 1960. Linda was baptized soon after, and their friendship continued to grow until Linda's family moved back to California a year and a half later. The two continued to communicate, writing letters to each other every day until Quilly decided he was tired of watching Luther mope around, missing Linda. He packed up his things and brought him to California to be with the girl he loved. He went to work right away at a cotton gin in Bakersfield CA. The two were ready to start their lives together, so after asking Linda's father Herbert for permission, and not necessarily receiving a no, they went on with their plans to be married. At the young age of 18 and 15 they were married on August 30th, 1961. This may seem too young for some, but for both of these hard-working kids, that just meant more years together. They started those years assembling for church at Tulare, CA and living next to Linda's parents. Due to Luther's eye condition, he was unable to get approved for a California driver's license. So, they found themselves back in Oklahoma where they had their firstborn son Randy Maxwell. After the joy Randy brought, it didn't take long to decide they wanted more children. Soon after, they had Dean Client, three years later Donny Wayne, and then Rodny Luther, and lastly Bobby Isaac. They loved and cherished their five sons; happily taking them everywhere they went, even when celebrating their wedding anniversaries.
By now, he was just barely thirty years old with a large family to provide for. When they had returned to Oklahoma, Luther had gone back to work for John Nickel at the now established Greenleaf Nursery. With his experience and mechanical mind, he spent many years developing labor saving devices and money saving operations on the care of the grounds and maintenance of the equipment of Greenleaf. He engineered plant transportation vehicles he called Wingdings, as well as pot filler machines, sheering machines, no doubt tightening every bolt as tight as he possibly could. He eventually went on to design an irrigation system shortly before retiring from a 50-year plus long legacy at Greenleaf on November 12th, 2012. He was called upon to help Greenleaf many times even after he retired. When He was not at work, he was always still working. If anyone had car trouble, lawn mower trouble, air conditioner went out, dryer stopped working, you name it, we all knew who to call. He was right there to figure it out whether he knew exactly how to fix it or not. The things He could not do, He took to God. Time after time, God saw him through.
Despite Luther thinking five children was enough, Linda went over his head and asked God for one more child. God granted her heart's desire and He blessed them with a little girl RaLynda Lee and Luther got to experience what it was to have a daddy's girl. Shortly before RaLynda was born, they had their first of many grandchildren. For Luther, time was beginning to run.
He was ordained as a bishop at the Church of the Firstborn, an occupation he served just as diligently. Not as a Lord over God's heritage but as an example to the flock. Whenever someone was sick, he was called to pray. When a child was being born and mercy was needed, he was called to pray. When someone was hurt or in emotional distress, he was called to pray. It didn't matter if it was in the middle of the night, he didn't want anyone to hesitate to call. He was a willing servant and just wanted the Word of the Lord kept. And again, He took what he didn't know how to fix to the Lord in prayer, and the Lord was always there.
For many years, He carried the responsibilities of a Bishop on his own, preached many funerals, officiated many marriages and lead many to the waters edge for baptism. He was a helper in the time of need for many and God was his. During this time, God totally healed his eyes. Linda was also healed from many health problems over the years. Them and their children were protected through car accidents and injuries in ways that it could only have been by God's mercy. Luther told us many times that "God always provided a way when there seemed no way."
After retiring from Greenleaf, he enjoyed growing a garden, usually a much larger garden than necessary that he liked to harvest with the grandkids and share with others. He always enjoyed cars, restoring and collecting classic mustangs and Model A's throughout the years. He even restored a '66 Mustang and painted it turquoise to replicate the first mustang him and Linda purchased together when they were first married. He brought the grandkids along anytime he could, giving them joy rides in the Model A and driving them through parades. He was part of the 5 C's Car Club and would take his classic cars to car shows. From which, He would usually bring home a trophy. If you have seen the walls of his shop, they are covered with trophies, certificates of achievements, plaques of all sorts of his accomplishments in life. Those were important to him, but not for the reason you may think. Luther said that when he was young, due to his eye problems, He thought that he would never be able to have an education, hold down a job, have a wife, or a family. That wall of achievement was a reminder to Him of what God had done for Him in his life. Luther and Linda reached the most treasured achievement of them all by reaching their 60th wedding anniversary on August 30, 2021. She was still his sweetheart and He would've had a big celebration or taken her on a big trip to Utah where they officiated their marriage vows 60 years earlier, but he knew Linda didn't like a big fuss and would be happier just taking a little drive together.
So that's what they did. Just like when they were young, they took a drive in their turquoise '66 mustang, holding hands, reminiscing about their life and just being happy to be together.