Brian Bennion Taylor, a devoted oldest brother of nine, a loving son and a treasured friend, passed away at age 19 on January 22nd after battling with severe illness.
Brian was born in San Diego to George and Marian Taylor on February 21st, 1990. After two years in San Diego and Pocatello, Idaho, Palo Alto was his home for 16 years. An avid reader as a child, he began to read, at age five. He would wait for the newspaper each morning to study sports statistics and he conversed with adult fans on the standings. He attended Hoover Elementary and was recognized as a gifted student there.
Adventurous, athletic, bright and ambitious, Brian was happy as he served others and as he spent time with extended family and friends. He loved the outdoors and his warm smile and loyalty were a magnet to friends of all ages throughout his life. He was fun-loving, curious and determined. His love for athletics and music were contagious. He aspired to a career that would use his skills in communication and teaching.
A Gunn High School graduate in 2008, Brian loved varsity wrestling and tennis. He was an Eagle Scout and he received a gold presidential service award for giving over 250 hours of service within a year's time. He was the service chair for the Gunn student body and he was a homecoming prince in his senior year. He also served in many youth leadership positions at church.
Brian held diverse jobs as an umpire, a counselor for Foothills Tennis and Swim Club, a lifeguard, a camp leader for 25 children, an award-winning Cutco salesman, a law assistant, and a ranch hand in Idaho.
The first unrecognized symptoms of Brian's illness were repetitive, looping thoughts during his sophomore year in high school. School became increasingly difficult, and some relationships were more strained as he had initial symptoms of a mood disorder. He was still involved in so much and contributed to so many causes and attained great success in his endeavors. He began his freshman year at Brigham Young University in the fall of 2008. However, his illness was escalating and he returned home after several months.
Granite Bay, California, was Brian's home for most of his last year, where he lived on a beautiful 240 acre cattle ranch, surrounded by his devoted family. With characteristic determination, he struggled to work at a sandwich shop and then attempted wrestling and taking classes at Sierra College. He sought help from caring professionals at UC Davis. Finally, Brian spent most of his last two months at the UCLA and Stanford Medical Centers where he received excellent care. He was faced with diagnoses of bipolar disorder and then schizophrenia. His acute illness affected every aspect of his life.
He is survived by his parents and eight devoted siblings: Bradley, Tessa, Gregory, Kallan, Mark, Melissa, Sarah and Benjamin. He is also survived by two great-grandmothers, Marian Wilson and Ethelyn Taylor; four grandparents, Henry and Colette Taylor and David and Connie Bennion; 25 aunts and uncles, and 41 first cousins. Brian's favorite times were summer family reunions each year. The number of extended family who will cherish close memories of him far surpasses these numbers. We rely on our faith, which assures that Brian is with loved ones and a caring God while we wait to see our treasured son again in the next life.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Brian Bennion Taylor Legacy Fund, see instructions on his website BrianBennionTaylor.com. The contributions will fund research on schizophrenia as well as provide mental health support for those in need.
Thanks for the amazing memories and all the times you made me smile. I hope you're busy preaching the good word up there and just busy being a rock-star. I will love and miss you until the day I see you again. -Michelle