Former Gainesville Fire Chief Dick Taylor died Wednesday following a brief illness. He was 65.
Taylor served as fire marshal for the city from 1997 to 2001, and was Gainesville’s fire chief from 2001 until 2007, when he retired.
Taylor also served as fire chief for Hall County from 1980-1983.
Former colleagues expressed their condolences.
"I know he’ll be missed around here, and the department sends prayers out to his family," Gainesville Fire Chief Jerome Yarbrough said.
"I feel like Chief Taylor had been a public servant all his life, from his Navy days to serving in public safety," Yarbrough said.
Taylor had a long history of public safety, in the Navy, as a peace officer and in both the Gainesville and Hall County fire departments and as chief of security at Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
Mike Satterfield, who served as Hall County fire chief from 1983-2004, worked with Taylor for several years.
"It was a pleasure to work with him, and I certainly considered him a close friend for a long time," he said.
He reiterated Yarbrough’s words.
"Dick always had a love for public safety. He was a deputized police officer at one time. He loved public safety and to serve the public, and that’s what he dedicated himself to," he said. "His whole life was spent serving the public."
But Satterfield said Taylor was never one to seek special recognition.
"He was a person who was not looking for any kind of glory or glamour or anything like that. He just wanted to serve and do a good job," Satterfield said.
He praised Taylor’s personal character.
"He was a very honest person. There was nothing in him that in any way could be considered anything other than upright and professional," Satterfield said.
Memorial services will be held at Gainesville First Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m. today.
Little & Davenport Funeral Home, in Gainesville, is in charge of arrangements.