Van Lee TAYLOR
VAN TAYLOR EULOGY (Memorable Moments):
Ironically, from the very first time I met Van Taylor at the Hope Mission Green Manor residence where he was residing, he was a breath of fresh air as he sauntered into the fellowship room pulling his oxygen tank on wheels. As a Chaplain at the Mission, I recognized Van’s enthusiasm, with every slow breath he took as he participated in the weekly Friday evening bible study that I was facilitating with the 3 or 4 in attendance. The Covid-19 restrictions of wearing masks and keeping distance in the first 2 years throughout 2022 and 2023 of
the pandemic, in no way masked his thirsting spiritual desperation to know and learn more about improving his relationship with the Lord. He was frank about his late stage COPD lung disease and knew he was progressively breathing on borrowed time with more and more difficulty.
After I retired from Hope Mission at the end of 2022, I continued visitation with Van in his room every week to two weeks. He joined the New Hope Church where my wife and I are Lead pastors and attended only two times because of his worsening condition; but he was faithful in watching our Livestream weekly broadcasts and attending our Wednesday night bible study on zoom until his untimely death on Saturday, April 15 th from complications of pneumonia and COPD.
Van and I had a lot in common as we got to know each other over the past 4 years. We were awestruck at the strange coincidence when we funnelled down our spiritual journey discussions to the day it started for both of us on August 10 th 1980. We both made a decision to become followers of the Jesus Christ on that last day of the Billy Graham Crusade that was happening at the Edmonton Coliseum. I continued to walk the straight line of recovery from my past addictions, but in the years to follow Van fell back into his lifestyle of addiction that was a direct cause of his severe COPD disease that eventually took his life. In spite of all his hardships, losses of homes, cars, relationships and health, he was able to see the forest through the trees—the light at the end of the tunnel and maintain a consistent positive and grateful attitude –he had found the gold at the end of the rainbow—the Lord Jesus Christ his Savior and the gift of recovery that continued for the remaining years of his life. He often told me that he doubted that he would have ever repented and turned his life around if it hadn’t been for his lung disease that moved him to cling to faith for dear life with every breath that he would struggle with for the rest of his days.
We both love music of all styles; he especially appreciated the “blues” and on occasion would sing a verse of a blues song with his raspy, gravel voice, and even play the harmonica for a moment or two before he quickly had to put his oxygen tube back up his nose. He was a specialist in fixing musical equipment, especially stereo components; that was his passion, his gift and his employment for many years in the past. He was a genius in diagnosing and repairing old, broken down expensive sound system components, then reselling them for a profit. Besides his quest for spiritual meaning in his life, his greatest joy was listening to music on his incredible sound system and “wheeling and dealing”, buying then selling purchased components. His last purchase was one of his most prized speakers and an amp that he was so proud of (the sound was amazing). In all his business
transactions that he would often share with me, he kept track of some of them in his “miracle” notebook where he recorded God’s divine assistance in his business affairs and other areas of his life. He was always conscientious of trying to help others; his generosity to those who assisted him with his basic needs and chores
was truly hospitable. Cooking meals, giving money even when it wasn’t expected. I will personally miss him a lot. He taught me how to journey through valleys of great difficulty with integrity, faith and thanksgiving for the simplest of things. All I know for sure is that when you took your last breath here on earth, Van—the Lord took your breath away when you were translated and glorified into your heavenly inheritance. Bless you brother—fair thee well—see you soon.
Pastor Alan Pysar