Thomas Fletcher Taylor, MD

tft obit

Thomas Fletcher Taylor, MD, 96, of Olathe, KS (and many points in between) passed away 12 June 2022 at his daughter Dani’s home surrounded by both family and friends .He was active until the last day of his life, living – as he had for 96 years, enjoying family and friends each and every day.

A Celebration of Life and Thanksgiving for Tom will be held at St. Aiden’s Episcopal Church, 14301 South Black Bob Road, Olathe, KS 66062 on Saturday, August 6 at 11am. Father Tom Baker will be officiating. A reception at Asbury Villas Clubhouse will follow featuring Tom’s very favorite meal including Korean Spare Ribs.

Tom was born 27th of March 1926 in Oakdale, Iowa, the fifth child of Dr. Charles and Harriet Taylor. The family eventually moved to Norton, KS where Tom graduated high school, and the following day enlisted in WWII. Tom worked for the US Army Air Corp on the Army Airways Communication System in the European Theater of Operations in England, France, and Germany. Working in a confined space, Tom decoded messages to assist the Allies. This experience defined Tom’s sense of dedication, patriotism, and altruism.

It was this sense of duty and care for others which propelled him to carry on the family tradition of becoming a doctor. Upon returning from war, he started his undergraduate work at the University of Kansas. During this time he met Constance (Connie) Kent, and on August 25, 1948 they married. 

He completed medical school in 1953, interned at Wesley Hospital in Wichita KS, then worked with his father who ran the Norton State Tuberculosis Sanatorium. After completing residency at the University of Colorado, Dr. Tom started private practice in Phillipsburg, KS. While in family practice, Dr. Tom was part of the Kansas Flying Physicians and often flew his own plane to rural/isolated areas to ensure people received the care they needed. It was here that Dr. Tom became passionate about public health care and was Chairman of the Kansas Comprehensive Health Planning Commission, whose mission was to ensure care for the underserved and rural communities and also served on the Kansas State Board of Health. Dr. Tom was instrumental in advocating for the efficient use of resources to provide the best care for communities in need. The family remained in Phillipsburg, KS until 1968. 

In 1968, they moved to Salina, KS where Dr. Tom continued private medical practice also working as a coroner and deputy sheriff in order to serve the community and provide dignity to people throughout their full lifespan. He continued his service to the medical community and became President of the Kansas Medical Society. 

During this time, he became more politically involved with advocating for healthcare policies.  Dr. Tom was dearly loved by his patients with many driving from other communities to remain under his care. 

After leaving private practice in the late 1980’s Tom and Connie become “Irresponsible Transients” and for the next 25 years traveled North America in their motorhome(s), frequently stopping to be with friends and/or to help out a community in need, and always with a Corgi in tow. Tom continued his dedication to serving the medical needs of the community wherever they were and became licensed in 11 different states. 

He spent considerable time practicing in Garnett and Hanover, KS and developed rewarding and lifelong relationships there. Just as Dr. Tom was dedicated to these communities, they were dedicated to him as well, being supportive and loving to the end. 

Tom loved genealogy and was the family expert and go-to person always sharing information that he learned. Family get-togethers were filled with laughter and lots of card games. He was a devoted uncle and the patriarch of the family, providing encouragement and sage advice. Tom was known for being intellectually diverse, quick witted, and supportive even through the darkest times. He was loved and cherished by family, patients, and everyone whose life he touched. 

Tom did manage to find time to relax. Fishing was a great passion, and his many trips included fishing in Cuba, Canada, and many places in the United States. Pacha and Mama Connie loved taking their granddaughter, Taylor, (and sometimes her friends, too) with them and taught about his love of people, places and conversation. Tom also loved flying and took to the skies to find peace and beauty as he viewed the world below him. A hell of a poker player; there was always debate whether he was bluffing or he really “had it”. (FYI, he rarely “had it”.) He loved to spend time at his home in Asbury Villas having coffee with his friends most mornings. Connie passed away in 2012. She and Tom had been married 64 years. 

A few years later, Tom again found love with Carol Joyce and they spent the last years of his life together. They enjoyed the simple things in life, going to dinner and the movies, playing cards, and enjoying friends and playing with the great grandchildren.

Tom is preceded in death by his mother Harriet (Sack) Taylor, his father Charles Edgar Fletcher Taylor, MD, his brothers and sisters, David Taylor, MD, Charlotte Shepherd, Richard Ray Taylor, MD, Lou Catalina, Daniel Taylor, Philip Taylor and Margo Haynes. 

Tom is survived by his son David Kent Taylor, of Topeka, KS, daughter Danielle (Gary) Rose of Shawnee, KS and son Thomas (aka Tommy) Fletcher (Sara) Taylor, Jr. of Kansas City, KS, granddaughter Rhys Taylor (Dustin) Shepard of Shawnee, KS and great-grandchildren, Jessica Constance Shepard, Logan Matthew Shepard, and Lucy Alice Shepard and his long-time companion, Carol Joyce of Marysville, KS. 

May we all remember Tom with love and take his example of living life with compassion, grace, and service. Tom often said, “You have to meet people where they are; and you cannot judge the path of another.” May we see our humanity in everyone we meet, help and serve where we are needed, and live with the grace of being One in this life.

Memorial Contributions

 May be made to St. Aiden’s Episcopal Church at 14301 Black Bob Road, Olathe, KS 66062. Condolences may be left for Tom aonline at https://www.cremationcenterkc.com/thomas-fletcher-taylor-md/. His daughter Dani Rose can be contacted through (913) 638-4600 or 7775 RoseHill Road, Shawnee, KS 66216.

1 Comment

  1. Jeannie Sonnier on July 26, 2022 at 2:09 pm

    Dr. T was a treasure indeed! I worked with him for over 15 years preparing his tax returns and paying bills while he traveled in his big motorcoach. He was a great friend and always quick with a joke. He loved his family! He also loved buying new cars. No sooner than we paid one off, then he was trading it on a newer model. Whenever he was in town, he would stop by to collect hugs from the staff. We will miss those bear hugs!

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