Gary James Taylor died Saturday, April 26, 2015. He battled long and hard, on his terms, against an illness we knew would finally win. Surviving are his partner in life, Perry; sister Donna; brother Jack; and their spouses and families.

He also leaves behind many wonderful, lifelong loved ones, especially Ron Smith, George, Arnold and Bruce, and his extended family of brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews.

Born in Oakland on Sept. 6, 1946, Gary followed his heart to New Jersey, attended Mercer College and moved back to California to attend Chabot College to earn a bachelor’s degree in fine art.

For the past 15 years he was an innkeeper where he met people from all walks of life. He enjoyed hours of visiting with guests, and sharing his opinions and views on a vast spectrum of topics.

He was an avid gardener and music lover, from Broadway show tunes to opera. He was active in Stanislaus County raising money and awareness for the gay and lesbian community before moving to Del Norte County and finally to Idyllwild, which he loved dearly.

A special thank you to David and Barbara Porter whom he called his angels, and David and Barbara Gross and Gary Parton for their love and friendship.

A celebration of life is scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 16, 2015, at Alpenglow Gardens, 25025 Fern Valley Road.

And I think to myself, “What a wonderful life.”