Remembering Wylie Taylor...


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Dear Friends:

Albeit it perhaps a bit late, I do want to let each of you know how very much I appreciated your support and expressions of sympathy during and following Wylie's passing. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of some number of you, especially as my memory returns and I get brief flashes of your calls, visits, cards/notes, and hugs & smiles at the celebration of Wylie's life.

I can attest to the fact that the grieving process just gets more difficult as time goes by - or perhaps as the numbness disappears and/or I try to grasp the finality of losing a loved one. Of course, I also know that time heals all wounds so I remain open to that eventuality.

I wish that I could contact each of you individually and express my appreciation; but Wylie was blessed with so many wonderful friends that I cannot even attempt (at this time) to write each of you individually. I hope that you do not mind the informality of my expressions of appreciation via e-Mail; and I hope that each of you knows how very important you were to Wylie and how much he loved you.

Please stay in touch and thanks again for being there for Wylie and for me.

Love, Shelby


December 21, 2002

My name is Gary Liebl. Wylie and I became very close friends over the last 23 years and he honored me by allowing me the privilege of being a very close confidant during his months of pain and struggle. His wife, Shelby, has asked me to reflect with you today on Wylie as a corporate executive, as a friend, and as a fellow Christian. So, for a few moments, on this his 73rd birthday, I would ask you to join me in remembering our friend and brother for his uniqueness, his accomplishments, and his contributions to our quality of life.

My buddy Wylie was Everyman…a real person…a saint in development. He lived life to the fullest and pushed the edges of the proverbial envelope…challenging and winning, stumbling, falling and picking himself up and moving along and winning again.

It has been said:

“Far better it is
To dare mighty things,
To win glorious triumphs,
Even though checkered with failure
Than to rank with those poor spirits
Who neither enjoy much
Nor suffer much
Because they live
In the gray twilight
That knows not victory nor defeat.”

Wylie lived that philosophy. He did experience both victory and defeat literally on the battlefield as a career marine. He also experienced victories and defeats in his personal life but in the end he was blessed with a model family with a dear and dedicated and loving special life partner in Shelby, his devoted wife, his children and his grandchildren.

What gave him joy and peace during such a difficult and painful time was speaking with so much pride about Shelby’s commitment to her doctorate. There was no prouder spouse than Wylie sharing her accomplishment and pride of earning that great academic distinction. In turn, he could not have had a more loving, caring spouse who nursed him faithfully, encouraged him constantly, and assured the dignity and respect he deserved. The love they share is special and may God bless Shelby and continue to give her strength through this most difficult transition. Wylie also spoke so lovingly of his children and especially his grandchildren, who he loved intensely. He was humbled and amazed with their unselfish affection.

For those of us, family and friends, who have been able to help Wylie, it was a little bit of payback time. Finally, he needed us. Finally, we could do a few simple things to bring happiness, relief, and joy to his challenging days. What a privilege.

Wylie gave and gave. He touched every life he encountered. He brightened our days, helped us with our problems, taught us his wisdom, and enriched our lives.

He was most proud of his career, as a Marine, but never boasted about it. He was proud, but in his own personal private way. His outward pride was not related to combat but to the experience of the Sanyo Tigers. Wiley gave and helped and taught these boys. He even wrote a book about the experience. I quote from it:

“Had it not been for a war, the children on this island (Okinawa) would not have known about hunger, prostitution, hatred, and fear. Had it not been for a young Marine Captain and his men, a small group of boys in a remote village on Okinawa would not have learned about trying and winning.” Wylie was that young Marine Captain who returned to Okinawa and taught the people of the village of Kayo to break their cycle of poverty and desperation. They repaired the homes and renovated the schools and purchased school uniforms. But most significantly, they taught the young boys the game of baseball. In spite of language barriers and dirt fields a baseball team was born. The Sanyo Tigers played Little League with the military teams and amassed a record of 15 wins and 1 loss, making them champions of the league.

Thirty-seven years later, Wylie returned to Kayo and was shocked to confront a hero’s welcome. Ten of the original Tigers, in uniform, met him at the airport. Japanese television and newspapers in Tokyo covered the homecoming, which initiated a week of ceremonies and commerative games. The Kayoans, now living as comfortable middle class citizens of Japan, credited Wylie and his marines with helping them pull themselves from the ashes of defeat. He and the Sanyo Tigers were featured on Good Morning America on ABC television here in the USA.

This story so characterizes the Wylie we know and love. A giving, generous, kind, and honest man who cared more for others than himself.

In his second career, as a corporate executive, Wylie once again gave and helped and taught. He was a partner, a collaborator, and a teacher. No one ever thought of him as a “boss,” but rather as a friend. He took no credit, he expected no gratitude. He quietly reveled in the successes of others, knowing that he had played a part in their many wins over challenges and adversities.

As president of one of the companies Wylie worked for, I marveled at his uncompromising integrity. He always opted for “what is right,” “what is fair.” He was apolitical and only cared for what was proper for the company and its employees. Oh, he could be tough. He fought unceasingly for what he believed it. He was a worthy advocate and woe be he who got in the way of Wylie when he was defending honesty and integrity and the rights of employees. Corporate America today has too few Wylie Taylors.

So many of us here today think inevitably of Wylie as a friend. What a model. Again, he gave and helped and taught. He truly cared. Did you ever get one of his little notes with that tiny little printing, thanking you for something? I kept some and treasure them. How about the calls from Wylie? And the emails, when he could still do that? And the lunches and dinners. You almost couldn’t talk about Wylie. He wanted to know about you and your updates and your issues. He listened as a caring friend and offered input and advice and solace and understanding as regards big issues. You always exited the encounter feeling better and richer for having been touched by this very special person. His gifts were subtle and meaningful and special. His gift was one of love.

Wylie was a family man. On the very top of the list were Shelby and his children and grandchildren. A few days before he died I held his hand as we sat on the floor of his office…where he wanted to be and in a position most comfortable at the moment. He couldn’t speak, but he did hear and comprehend. The walls and bookcases are covered with photos…none of Wylie as a Marine…none of Wylie as a corporate executive…none of Wylie with his many, many friends. But, dozens of photos of his family. As I commented on so many of the pictures, he smiled and squeezed my hand with gestures of pride and happy memories. Over the last several months and many hours of conversation, Wylie spoke only of Shelby and his extended family. He loved you so much, was so proud of your accomplishments, and so very appreciative of your support and kindness. I know that your lives have been touched and influenced by his unique gifts of love and giving and helping and teaching. The grandchildren will be forever affected in a very positive way by Wylie, their special grandfather.

Most important, Wylie was a saint in the making, as I said earlier. As a macho-Marine, a tough executive, he was also paradoxically, a very spiritual man. On the surface, he always participated in his church, not only as a dedicated member of the congregation, but also as a selfless volunteer on boards, committees, and special projects. He understood that the church is not a building and its pastor, but rather, a congregation gathered together in His name to worship and pray and help each other as the Lord taught us. Wylie did that and like no other.

But more fundamentally, Wylie was an inwardly spiritual being, a saint in the making. I watched him grow and delight in the knowledge of the Lord and His love. Over time, we spoke ever more frequently about Jesus and prayer and faith. He shared so many perspectives and taught me a lot about spirituality. As his illness progressed we began to pray together. He never doubted the love of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and their protection during the terrible months of his ordeal. He trusted in his Savior and is now resting in the arms of the Lord.

Wylie loved the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi and recited it frequently. It reads:

“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace
Where there is hatred, let me show love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
Divine Master Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal love.”

Wylie loved this prayer; Wylie lived this prayer.

Yes, we will miss Wylie more than words can express. But he lives on with us. His influence on our lives is undeniable. His example will model our behavior for the rest of our lives. His humor, his smile, his unselfish love lives on in our hearts. We thank the Lord for His gift to us…Wylie Taylor.

Wylie…we love you…we miss you…we grieve your departure…but we celebrate your life and your gifts. May you rest in peace in the love and the embrace of the Lord.

Dec 14, 2002


My (our) dear friend and Microdata alumnus, Wylie Taylor, passed away a few hours ago, after a long and challenging illness.

I have stayed very close to Wylie and Shelby these past few weeks in particular and can verify that he was surrounded by family and love during the most difficult part of his battle. He is now at peace and in the hands of the Lord.


I will provide more details later (e.g. funeral arrangements, etc.). I suggest that no one call the house right now, for all of the obvious reasons.

Gary Liebl

Remembering Wylie Taylor...

The following messages have been sent by friends and colleagues:

Our prayers will be with Wylie and Shelby as they continue the transitions of life.

Greg and Carol Lawson

I first met Wylie at the annual Marine Corp Birthday bash he would put on every year, first at Microdata then later at MDFSC. I grew close to him and Col. Jim Lau over the years and will miss them both. Wylie always had a smile and put forth a positive attitude no matter what the circumstance. I know he lived a great and fulfilling life and will be proud of his achievements when it is time to step back and make an accounting.

He was and is a Marine (an individual) you can point to and say with certainty he fulfilled the Corp's three standards of Honor, Courage and Commitment.

In the third verse of the Marine Corp Hymn the last few lines go:

If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded by

I am sure that both he and Jim will be part of that unit.

Until we meet again on that big grinder in the sky;
Of my friend I can say with pride

Semper Fidelis

Dennis L. Rice

Unlike most of the people I met while working at Microdata, I got to know Wylie better after he left the company. I came to know him as both a scholar and a gentleman and a very compassionate human being who always thought about others before himself. He very much cherished the friendships he made and demonstrated that by turning out for the annual gatherings year after year, struggling up the stairs at the Barn with his oxygen tank in toe.

One year not too long ago, Garrett Hildebrand learned that Wylie was thinking about not coming because he didn't think he could make it up the stairs. Garrett organized a crew of able-bodied folks who were going to "assist" Wylie in negotiating the stairs, but when he arrived, he wasn't going to have any of that and, one by one, took the stairs on his own (USMC determination, no doubt). Wylie will surely be missed by the earth-bound, but the slow torturous suffocation of emphysema is over for him. God rest your soul, Wylie Taylor.

Steve Gill

I did not know Wylie, but my heart goes out to his family just the same. May he rest in peace.

Donna St. Jean Conti

Wylie Taylor was one of the first Microdata employees that I met when I was hired at Microdata almost 20 years ago today. During that time, he helped me both professionally (by being encouraging, supportive, and positive) as well as personally (by listening with patience, understanding, and advice) to the various problems that I have encountered in my personal life. He has been a true friend, and will be missed by all who knew him.

I will miss you, Wylie! Thanks for your twenty years of friendship.


Marcie (Gebauer) Miller

After I filled out a job application at Microdata Corporation and handed it over in a spur-of-the-moment decision to drop by the company one day, Wylie was the first person I talked to there. Over the next 14 years he advised me on every major career decision I made while working there. It all started when he found out that I had just left active service in the Marine Corps as an honourably discharged Sergeant. I discovered that I was still part of that special fraternity even though I had become a civilian again, and Wylie was the one who introduced me to that fact.

Since Wylie left Microdata as it finally came apart, he had to make a special effort to contact me if he was going to talk to me, or I him. Over the years I discovered that Wylie is a special "people person." He remembered all the many people he worked with over the years, and made an active effort to stay in touch with many of them. For this reason, a lunchtime visit with Wylie would be a sort of running account of what many others are doing in their various successful careers. Wylie would periodically call me out of the blue, and we'd chat for a while. Every so often he'd suggest we go out to lunch and chat. He always showed interest in what others were doing with their lives. And though he had a raft of medical problems, I never heard him complain.

What a rare and wonderful person Wylie was. I remember him fondly, and will always.

I have a few quotes to share that complement Wylie because he was proud of the Corps.

The United States Marine Corps, with its fiercely proud tradition of excellence in combat, its hallowed rituals, and its unbending code of honor, is part of the fabric of American myth.

--Thomas E. Ricks; Making the Corps, 1997

Marines die, that's what we're here for. But the Marine Corps lives forever. And that means YOU live forever.

--Gunnery Sergeant R. Lee Ermey, playing the character role of the mythical Gunny Hartman, a United States Marine Corps Drill Instructor in the movie, "Full Metal Jacket," 1987. (you can hear this by visiting  the screenplay is available at )

Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.

--Ronald Reagan, U.S. President; 1985

Semper Fidelis,

Garrett Hildebrand

My name is David Acosta, during a new manager week long training I had the pleasure of working one on one with Wylie. He said to me, "what do you really want out of life, where you do want to be in 10 years?" I replied, "VP of Sales." It turns out that in ten years, I am owner of my own company. No one had ever asked me what I wanted . Wylie helped me to understand where I wanted to go with my life. He displayed confidence in other people and he helped me to work harder toward my own goals. His memory will always be in my heart.

David J. Acosta
President AD Computer Sales, Oceanside Ca.

I don't think I ever saw Wylie with a frown on his face. Indeed, a celebration is in order.

Mike Gremp

In memory of our good friend and colleague – Wylie, a person that was:

  • Connected to you and really listened

  • A leader that spread positives and encouragement

  • Likeable, modest and highly principled

  • A dear and trusted friend

Frank and Thea Reinhart

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