In Memory of Ed Taylor
From the time Ed was young, he was fascinated with anything that had a motor that he might one day be able to drive. He was always pushing the limits – and got his first moving violation ticket at the age of 12 for driving his parents’ car up and down the alley by their home.
He loved to hear the reports from the rally car events that his parents participated in and enjoyed attending events at Skagit Speedway. Ed could hardly contain his excitement when he learned he was going to California to see the first Grand Prix race to be held in the streets of Los Angeles.
His first job was delivering the Bellingham Herald on his bike early in the mornings. His parents found out when he was in his 50’s that he would take the rally car out to do the deliveries when he figured he could get away with it.
Ed graduated from Bellingham High School in 1980. He participated in many music department productions and sports, including football; he lettered in wrestling and track. He was also very active in Luther League at Faith Lutheran Church.
He had a very high IQ, but sometimes common sense could elude him. His counselors assured him he would receive a scholarship and could go to any college he wanted. He instead enlisted in the Air Force.
He graduated with honors from the Aerospace Ground Equipment Mechanic Course, but soon realized he should have taken advantage of the option of college. He passed the written test and was headed to the Air Force academy when his leg was run over by a tug on the tarmac and he was unable to pass the physical test, ending his Air Force career.
After Ed left the Air Force, he began his truck driving career. He logged over 2 million miles without an accident, working for several different companies. Ed grew tired of always being on the road and decided to follow his passion to own his own business. In 2012, he opened Taylor Driving Schools in Burlington, WA, a school focused on commercial driver training. His school quickly became one of the most successful in the state, boasting the highest pass rate for his students.
Ed had connections with many businesses and went above and beyond to help his students pass the CDL test and get employment after the course was done. Annually, he hosted a huge job fair and BBQ in the summer helping current and past students make valuable career connections. Ed helped provide a new career path for many people needing second chances.
He thrived by giving back to his community, specifically working with Harvest Against Hunger, he used the school’s trucks and students to haul produce, etc. from farms to foodbanks. While he got great enjoyment for giving back, he was very humble and wasn’t too keen on praise for doing something he just thought needed doing. In 2017, he was honored with the Mike Shanahan Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service in Hunger Relief through Rotary First Harvest. Posthumously he was the inaugural recipient of the Harvest Against Hunger’s Hunger Relief Hero award in 2023.
We dedicate the new Taylor Made TDS, Inc. in Ed’s memory and will strive to have the same positive impact on students, staff, and the community that Ed did.