Benjamin Taylor—a city of Encinitas employee and Oceanside resident, who died on Christmas Eve—is being remembered as man with strong work ethic on and off the job.
"He led by example, he was never afraid to take the helm and to make sure everything was in order,”said friend James Friedlan. “He wanted to make sure everyone was taken care of."
The 49-year-old wastewater field supervisor died suddenly as a result of heart disease while driving his work truck. A passerby found him unresponsive in a truck near that had hit a tree near Manchester Avenue on Dec. 24. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.
Five years ago, Friedlan’s wife died suddenly and Taylor and his wife, Pam, supported their friend.
“[They] stuck by my side even after everyone else’s lives went back to normal,” he said. “They wanted to make sure I was doing well by myself.”
Taylor was generous when with his friends—If someone asked to borrow a tool, Taylor would only allow it if he went along to help, Friedlan said.
Such was the case when one friend asked for a floor jack.
“Ben came with the floor jack and a couple of beers,” he said. “Seven hours later, they got the job done.”
Related: Reflecting on Ben Taylor's Life
Taylor, an outgoing man, made friends easily with strangers, Friedlan said.
He remembers one camping trip in California in which Taylor met fellow campers at a rest area and they made sure to meet up with him—300 miles away.
In fact, another friend, Greg Lee, met Taylor while camping at June Lake and knew him as a sportsman who helped and protected his friends and family.
“We affectionately called him our camping ‘Camp Director,’” he stated. “Ben was the first one up in the morning and usually the last one to bed.”
He always maintained that attitude, Friedlan said.
“That’s how he carried himself when he was representing the city of Encinitas and when he was representing his family,” he said.
Taylor’s family includes a wife, Pam and two daughters—Brooke, 15 and Ashley, 11.
A trust for Ashley has been set up, Friedlan told Patch. Interested parties may call Wells Fargo in Oceanside at (760) 726-0453 for more information.
A service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at the Encinitas Community Center, 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive.
Do you have a memory of Benjamin Taylor? If so, share it in the comments section.