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Obituary: Donald Adams Taylor

The recent death, on May 15, 2009, of Donald A. Taylor, 66, local attorney and long-term resident of Manhasset and Sea Cliff, has created a void in lives of his many family members, friends and colleagues. His wit and humor were legendary, and will be sorely missed as evidenced by the packed memorial service held on Sunday, May 24, at the Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Home in Williston Park.

Don was well respected for his ongoing service to the community. Among leadership posts, he was a current director and past president of the Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, former president of the North Shore Kiwanis Association as well as former president and founding member of the Sea Cliff Ecology Club. He was always a willing volunteer, whether it was for Sea Cliff Mini-Mart, playing the part of Santa Claus for the NS Kiwanis family holiday party, contributing brooms for Manhasset’s “Sidewalk Sweep,” or his many years of managing the registration process for the annual Peter Speranza Memorial Run for St. Christopher Ottilie in Sea Cliff.

Don obtained his law degree from Cornell University and received his Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major in Philosophy, from Princeton University. He attended the Manhasset schools through 10th grade when his family moved to Baltimore, MD. There he graduated from the Friends School in Baltimore. (Manhasset friends, however, lovingly claim him as a graduate of MHS, Class of 1961.)

Following law school, Don accepted employment at IBM where he worked as a systems analyst and was involved in the computerization of prisoner tracking and traffic systems for the City of New York. He then joined the New York State’s Office of Court Administration as Director of Education and Training where he oversaw training and development for municipal judges throughout the state.

In 1987, he launched a local practice on Plandome Road in Manhasset; first with partner John Dalton and later as a solo operation. Family and friends were the core of his life and who he was. His three married children, daughters Sarah, Carrie, and son Seth, and their spouses, Ken Bercuson, Kevin McPeek and Belle Chen Taylor respectively, gave him tremendous joy. Running marathons became a family affair, including one 26-mile stretch completed in Alaska with his daughters. An avid wrestler in high school and college, he loyally followed local and state wrestling competitions, often joined by his son Seth, also a former wrestler.

Don is survived by his mother, Mary McCord Taylor, his brother James, sister Ellen Lyon, and three grandchildren, Maisie, Isabel and Tatum who delighted him so deeply.

Friends and family are invited to share their memories of Don at a site hosted by his children.