WADESBORO, N.C. (AP) — Former North Carolina Lt. Gov. Pat Taylor has died more than 45 years since serving as the state’s second-highest executive branch official.
Taylor died Sunday at his Wadesboro home at age 94, according to Leavitt Funeral Home. Funeral director Ken Caulder said late Monday that Taylor had been in declining health and under hospice care.
Hoyt Patrick Taylor Jr., a longtime lawyer who served in the Marine Corps during World War II and the Korean War, joined the state House in 1955. The Democrat became House speaker in 1965. In 1968, Taylor was elected lieutenant governor — the same position father Hoyt Patrick Taylor Sr. held 20 years earlier.
The younger Taylor lost to Skipper Bowles in a closely contested 1972 Democratic gubernatorial primary. Bowles ended up losing in the general election to Republican Jim Holshouser.
“Pat was a fixture in North Carolina politics who was unafraid to stand up for his beliefs,” state Democratic Party Chair Wayne Goodwin said in a statement. “He was also an avid Anson County storyteller and a friend of rural North Carolina. I join Democrats across the state in celebrating his life, his passion and his service to our state.”
Taylor served on various boards, including the University of North Carolina Board of Governors and the trustee board at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he received his bachelor’s degree and law degree.
He was preceded in death by his wife of more than 60 years, Elizabeth Lockhart Taylor. Survivors include three children, four grandchildren and a sister.
Visitation is 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at Leavitt Funeral Home. A funeral service is 11 a.m. Wednesday at First Baptist Church in Wadesboro, with a graveside service to follow in service in Eastview Cemetery, also in Wadesboro.