The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

June 23, 2013

Family trying to cope with young man’s death

Kathy Mellott

JOHNSTOWN — Paul “PJ” Taylor was ready for a big change in his life, but he never got the opportunity to see it through, as he was killed in an all-terrain vehicle accident on June 1.

Taylor, who operated a scoop in an Amfire coal mine, was within two weeks of resigning to devote his full attention to a start up landscaping and snow removal business, his father, Paul, said.

“He had a pretty incredible work ethic,” the father said. “He just had a passion for everything he did, and when he was doing something, he was putting 110 percent into it.”

The loss of Taylor has been difficult for his parents, Paul and Sherri Lynn Taylor of Mineral Point, and his girlfriend, Easton Tomak, 19, of Colver.

While the parents knew there son was special, their beliefs were reaffirmed by the many people who spoke to them at the funeral home earlier this month.

“People told us how special he made them feel,” Paul Taylor said. “I really believe that was a tribute to his mom.”

While not ready to give up their son, who was only 23, the Taylors have peace.

“PJ had a really great faith in Jesus Christ,” Paul Taylor said. “He told his girlfriend he wasn’t afraid to die because he knew where he was going.”

Memories are difficult for Tomak, who said she had been fighting with Taylor prior to the crash.

“We actually got into a big fight,” she said. “We fought like cats and dogs, but he always told me I was his soul mate.”

Oddly, Taylor, who had a blood-alcohol level of .08 the night of the crash, was never much of drinker, she said.

“He tried to stay away from it,” she said. “The only time he drank was when we broke up or we were fighting.”

Tomak had high praise for Taylor’s parents and his sisters: Margaret Ann, 21, and Kathryn Julia, 20, both of whom still live at home.

“This family is really strong,” she said, later adding, “I think people should know how wonderful he was and how much I loved him.”

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