Cover photo for Loren Taylor's Obituary
1936 Loren 2023

Loren Taylor

September 15, 1936 — November 6, 2023

Loren L. Taylor, 87, of Kansas City, Kansas, Beloved Husband, Devout Christian, Father, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather, Colonel, Attorney, Historian, Author, Educator and Administrator of Justice passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on November 6, 2023.

Taylor was born in Kansas City, Kansas, proudly boasting that his family was from Armourdale. His father was a lifelong butcher in the packing houses. Growing up, Taylor’s family shared his family’s stories, particularly during summers while visiting in the deep Ozark hills with his grandparents and other old relatives. Before he was born, his mother and his aunt moved from the Ozarks to the Kansas City area looking for work during the Depression Era. His family’s stories were passed down through generations including exploits of family members in the Revolutionary War and in the Civil War. His grandfather was a frontier marshal and US gold marshal. His love of his family’s stories kindled a passion to learn more of his heritage and history, not to mention the desire to study and preserve the history of the people and places of Wyandotte County.

Taylor was not from generations of lawyers, politicians or an affluent family. In contrast, his family fell into financial crisis when his paternal grandfather died just after his father was born, leaving his Irish grandmother with six (6) children to raise in 1899. His Irish paternal grandmother was forced to give up their small property holding to move from their frontier home into Armourdale to support her children by washing clothing for others. She became a true Irish “washerwoman.” To complicate this existence came the

great flood of 1903. Taylor’s father was forced to leave school in his 6th grade year to work in a packing house at age 12.

Taylor was driven by his family’s strong work ethic, however, which ultimately helped to open doors. He started his work career as a young boy by acquiring a newspaper delivery route and then with associated sales of comic books. This was cut short when, within days of graduating from Central Junior High School, the next devastating flood of 1951 occurred. Taylor and his family watched their home become covered by river mud and water. His father’s packing house temporarily closed from the flood. The next fall, he started high school while his family was forced to rent and live in the government “Trailer City” for over a year while their old house was rebuilt. Taylor worked through his high school years to help his family financially. He worked at Crown Drug at the soda fountain, and by his senior year, he was working full time as a department leader.

His high school sweetheart and future wife Helen F. Holek’s family was also a victim of the 1951 flood. Helen’s second generation family lived in the Croatian Community known as “The Patch” in the West Bottoms. She, too, possessed a strong work ethic, also working after school at Crown Drug Co. She attended Bishop Ward High School while he studied at Wyandotte High School. It was during this period that a noted Sister of Charity, Sister Rose Carmel, a teacher at Ward High School, became a mentor and almost guardian, giving spiritual, cultural and educational direction to both Helen and Loren. This gave direction for his study of history in college. During college Taylor worked full time including on the railroad. He was the Kansas legislative representative from his union local. He also became active with the Kansas City Missouri Police Department during these years in their reserve training and patrol program.

He received his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctorate degrees from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He completed legal training at the National Law Institute at Quantico, Virginia, and in military and governmental law at various other locations, including the Judge Advocate General School and the Command and General Staff College.

Loren and Helen married midway through his college years and began a family, raising six (6) children. After law school he launched into his legal career in 1962. While in school, Taylor was active in his local community and earned the attention of certain members of the bar and political circles. He was taken under the wings of a prominent local historian and member of the Wyandotte County Bar who furnished extensive guidance on being a lawyer in Wyandotte County. His hard work earned him the opportunity to be appointed the first special Administrative Law Judge for the Kansas Division of Workers’ Compensation. From there he worked part time for the Kansas City Right-of-Way Department.

As most that grew up during World War II, Taylor had great respect for the military. His patriotism drove him to enlist in the United States Marines Reserve. After law school. he continued with his military career, and accepted a commission in the United States Army Reserve as a Judge Advocate. By the time he finished his military career and after receiving Command and General Staff college training, he achieved the rank of Colonel. Taylor retired from the military in 1991. He received numerous military awards, including the coveted Legion of Merit award.

Taylor’s love of law and law enforcement drove him to become active as a police reserve officer during his years in college, law school, and after. He gained recognition

from several federal and state agencies during that period which led eventually to his return to law enforcement as the police legal advisor/officer with the Kansas City Kansas Police Department for over three (3) decades. The military, law enforcement, and teaching disciplines complimented each other and the cross-training and assignments were invaluable to the other. He gained recognition serving for over 30 years on the Kansas Judicial Council Criminal Law Advisory Committee. He also published a highly acclaimed monthly legal publication, The Police Legal Review, for over 20 years. He taught all members of the police department during their recruit training and later in their mandatory continuing education. Upon retirement, he continued his training responsibilities under contract teaching these classes for over 40 years.

While acting as part-time Right-of-Way Agent, he was offered the opportunity to teach part time for the Kansas City Kansas Community College in a new program on law enforcement as its first instructor and is credited with starting the Administration of Justice section. This was to last for over 30 years with recognition for starting that program in their acclaimed school’s history.

Taylor’s devotion to ethnic culture and history led him to become a noted historian, producing four (4) books on the ethnic history of the county including: The Historic Communities of Wyandotte County; Consolidated Ethnic History of Wyandotte County; and A Historical Overview of Wyandotte County and Its Historical Sites (Volumes I and II). His works included the History of Law Enforcement in Kansas City, Kansas. He was also the author of a historical Lewis and Clark based novel, A Meeting With Shannon: Lewis and Clark Remembered. He received numerous awards from ethnic organizations for his work in the preservation of local ethnic culture and history. His legacy also includes

his creation of the Historical Journal of Wyandotte County for over 30 years. Taylor was a past president of the Wyandotte County Historical Society and Museum and, until his death, was its historian. He served on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Historical Foundation, the Kansas State Historical Society and the Kansas City Ethnic Council, as well as the Kansas City Landmarks Commission. He was state commander of Sons of Veterans of the Civil War. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. He was voted life member in the International Association of Police Chiefs. His passion for helping the different ethnic cultures of his community to preserve their own cultures also led him to be an integral part of the Kansas City Kansas Sister City Program. This program included developing Kansas City, Kansas’ relationships with several cities around the world, including the city of Karlovac in Croatia, the city of Linz in Austria, the city of Uruapan in Mexico, and assisted in developing a county relationship with Limerick County in Ireland, as well as others.

Taylor was an active member of many organizations reflecting his numerous passions, including the Wyandotte County Bar Association, the Reserve Officers Association, the Fraternal Union of Tequila Drinkers, The Monkey Club, St. John Catholic Club, the Croatian American Social Club, the Croatian Fraternal Union, Emerald Society, St. David Society, Kansas Peace Officers Association and St. Andrews Society, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the German Edelweiss Society, Knights of Columbus, Wyandotte County Catholic Round Table, Top of the Morning Club, and Bar Na Maidne.

With his education, collection, and preservation of the history of Wyandotte County, he now himself is part of Wyandotte County’s history.

Loren is survived by his wife of 67 years, Helen, as well as his daughter Diane Schoenberger and her husband Ted, daughter Cathie Burroughs and her husband Tom, son Donald Taylor and his wife Cherri, daughter Teresa Kilkenny and her husband Shawn, daughter Julie Wilhauk and her husband Phil, and son David Taylor, and his niece Jan Holden, as well as seventeen grandchildren and five great grandchildren. In addition to his parents and brothers and sister, he was preceded in death by his grandson-in-law Michael Harrelson and his great grandson Brody Harrelson.

A Rosary will be prayed at 10:30 a.m. on November 10, 2023 followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s/St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, 615 North 7th Street, Kansas City, Kansas 66101, with burial to follow at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Parallel Parkway & North 126th Street, Kansas City, Kansas 66109.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to St. Mary/St. Anthony Catholic Church at 615 North 7th Street, Kansas City, Kansas 66101, St. John the Baptist Croatian Catholic Church at 708 North 4th Street, Kansas City, Kansas 66101, or the Strawberry Hill Ethnic Cultural Society at 720 North 4th Street, Kansas City, Kansas 66101.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Loren Taylor, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Rosary

Friday, November 10, 2023

10:30 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, November 10, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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