by Jerry and Janice Taylor
Dan Mac Taylor was born February 26, 1928, on the family farm in Fairfield, Idaho, thirteenth of fourteen children. He left the home farm at a young age and worked on another farm owned by the family. He joined the U.S. Coast Guard saying that he wanted to go into heavy equipment operation. They gave him a mop and a bucket! He was aboard the 230-foot Coast Guard ice breaker Storis when it was first stationed in Juneau in December 1948. Dan met and married Audrey Jean Thompson, daughter of Sidney and Elizabeth (Madsen) Thompson of Juneau. Four boys, Jerry, Jeff, Dan Jr. and Kirk, all born in Juneau, made up the Taylor family.
Most of Dan’s life was spent working on heavy construction throughout Alaska for various companies over the years, ending by owning and managing his own company. He worked road, airport, sewer and tank farm jobs all over Southeast Alaska - including Yakutat, Skagway, Haines, Juneau, Hoonah, Wrangell, Klawock, Craig and Ketchikan. In Juneau, he worked on the Thane and Fritz Cove roads, North Douglas and Glacier Highways, and Egan Drive. In between the Southeast jobs, he worked in Anchorage, Kodiak, Unalakleet, and on the Alaska Pipeline road.
In the early years, the young family traveled with him but about 1957, they returned to Juneau as “home base.” A friend towed their trailer home over the highway from Anchorage to Haines, tipping it over twice! They lived in other trailers in Juneau, then in 1960, they were the first family to move into a home in the newly built Mendenhaven subdivision “way out the road” in Mendenhall Valley. In 1972, they moved to a new home on Fritz Cove near a cabin built by Jean’s father, Sidney J. Thompson, in the late 1940’s.
In 1987, Dan retired and moved with wife Jean to a home near Centralia, Washington. He was delighting in “building” a small backyard farm when just a few months later he died of a sudden heart attack. Sons Jeff and Kirk, with their families, moved to the same general area near Centralia. Jerry and Dan Jr. and families remained in Juneau.