“I loved Brother Taylor,” said President Ezra Taft Benson at funeral services February 27 eulogizing Elder Henry Dixon Taylor, an emeritus member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. “I thank God I’ve had the opportunity of rubbing shoulders with this great man.”
Elder Taylor died in a Salt Lake hospital February 24 after a brief illness. He was eighty-three years old. Services were held in the Salt Lake Eagle Gate Stake Center, with burial at the Provo City Cemetery.
Also speaking at the funeral were President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency; President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency; and Arch L. Madsen, former bishop of the Oak Hills Ward. President Howard W. Hunter, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve, conducted.
“I know of no other man who so exemplifies Christ,” President Hinckley said of Elder Taylor. He characterized Elder Taylor as someone who spoke softly and quietly, but with great concern.
President Monson paraphrased the Apostle Peter from the Book of Acts (Acts 10:38): “God anointed Henry Dixon Taylor with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, … for God was with him.”
He went on to describe Elder Taylor as “a modest man,” “a caring man,” “a gentle man.”
He also noted Elder Taylor’s dedication and effectiveness in Church service.
Elder Taylor, a native of Provo, Utah, had served as a General Authority since 6 April 1958, when he was sustained as an Assistant to the Council of the Twelve. He continued his service as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy from 1 October 1976 until he was given emeritus status 30 September 1978.
He was a former managing director of the Church’s welfare services program. At the time of his call to general Church service, he was presiding over the California Mission. Prior to his mission appointment, he had served for ten years as president of the East Sharon and Sharon stakes in Provo, Utah. During that time he was also chairman of the Mt. Timpanogos Welfare Region, which then comprised ten stakes, and the Central Utah Welfare Region.
From 1944 to 1946, he was bishop of Provo’s Pleasant View Ward.
Elder Taylor was born 22 November 1903, in Provo, the son of Arthur N. and Maria Dixon Taylor. He was reared on a farm in Provo, which provided the background for his later service in the welfare program.
After graduating from Brigham Young High School in Provo, Elder Taylor worked as an accountant for a real estate company before accepting a call to the Eastern States Mission. He was president of the Connecticut District and later served as mission secretary.
Returning home, he received a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Brigham Young University in 1929. In 1937 he received his master of arts degree in retailing from New York University Graduate School.
On 26 December 1929, he married Alta Hansen of Richfield in the Salt Lake Temple. They were the parents of four sons. After his first wife died, Elder Taylor married Ethelyn Peterson Taylor in 1986.
Elder Taylor was long associated with the family mercantile business, Dixon-Taylor-Russell Home Furnishers, in Utah County.
Active in civic affairs, he was a past president of the Provo Chamber of Commerce and Provo Kiwanis Club, and vice-president and chairman of the executive committee of Utah Valley LDS Hospital.
He is survived by his widow, Ethelyn, Salt Lake City, Utah; sons, Henry D. Taylor, Jr., Palo Alto, California; Anthony H. Taylor, Salt Lake City, Utah; Stephen K. Taylor and David A. Taylor, Provo, Utah; sixteen grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Also surviving are brothers and sisters, Alice Taylor Nelson, Elton L. Taylor, Clarence D. Taylor, and Ruth Elaine Taylor Kartchner, all of Provo, Utah.