The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

June 23, 2013

Family trying to cope with young man’s death

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.”

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Cause of West End fire still undetermined

    The cause of a five-alarm fire early Monday morning at a vacant structure on the 500 block of Dorothy Avenue in Johnstown’s West End has not yet been determined.

    July 22, 2014

  • Former worker, pal jailed in Logan Township thrift store robbery

    A former employee and another man have been jailed on charges they robbed a Blair County thrift store, a crime foiled when a current employee told police she recognized the first masked suspect’s voice.

    July 22, 2014

  • Rents change with new rules

    A change in federal housing regulations raises the rent for 28 public housing tenants and reduces the rent for 29 tenants in Johnstown Housing Authority communities.

    July 21, 2014

  • Memorial programs recognized

    A national hospital ranking report recognizes Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center as high performing in four categories.

    July 21, 2014

  • Residents seek Sonman memorial

    Relatives of workers involved in one of the biggest mine disasters in the region’s history are working to keep the victims’ memories from fading. Next year marks the 75th anniversary of the 1940 Sonman Mine explosion, which claimed 63 lives.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 22, 2014

  • Foul play ruled out in train fatality

    Foul play has been ruled out in the death of a Windber man found struck by a train near Seward early Sunday, investigators say.

    July 21, 2014

  • Correction 07/22/2014

    July 21, 2014

  • Concussion prevention project progressing

    A Johnstown-area hospital and school district are a step ahead of the president's call for more research into sports injuries, having developed a groundbreaking concussion-prevention program aimed at helping all athletes, particularly students, avoid brain injuries.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local briefs 7/22/2014

    July 21, 2014

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads