Darrell Dewayne Taylor \nFebruary 5, 1936 - October 18, 2023\n\nWith his dark sense of humor, Darrell Dewayne Taylor would read the newspaper obituaries and quip, “Beware when you are surrounded by family and friends! The end is near!” And so it went in the weeks before his own passing. He enjoyed visits, calls, and messages from friends and family bearing love and affection for this good-hearted, charming, so-very-bright man.\nBorn in Coffeyville, Kansas, on February 5, 1936, Darrell attended high school in Sands Springs, Oklahoma, undergraduate college at Anderson College in Indiana, and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Southern California in 1966.\n\nAfter earning his Ph.D., Darrell studied and traveled in France for a year, returning to accept a position in the philosophy department of Queens College, City University of New York. He taught more than thirty different courses in the field of philosophy (19th and 20th century European), film theory and history, and politics until his retirement in 1991.\n\nDarrell’s academic interest was only in teaching. He did not focus on publishing or professional advancement, but gave his effort to devising courses according to his interests with the goal in mind of changing peoples’ minds and lives in matters of the arts and politics. These courses attracted hundreds of students. He lectured spontaneously, using free association, and promoted student engagement and participation. He was named Teacher of the Year by the Alumni Association. Students continued to contact Darrell decades later to thank him for helping them formulate their views and their life‘s priorities.\nDarrell's formative years help explain the man he was to become. As an award for high academic achievement in high school, Darrell was granted a job in a factory that made cardboard boxes. He worked for a year as a bundler, packaging boxes for shipping under difficult circumstances in an un-airconditioned facility in Oklahoma. This experience helped forge his working class politics.\n\nFollowing this year, Darrell attended Anderson College where he was a member of an a capella group as well as traveling gospel quartets. One of the quartets was featured in The Christian Brotherhood Hour, an international religious radio program, broadcast in many countries. He also toured the country with two quartets singing concerts in roughly thirty states.\n\nTo attend graduate school and earn his Ph.D, Darrell was awarded a Danforth Fellowship which provided for his educational expenses. Darrell was forever amused to recall the wide variety of jobs he held while in graduate school: cantor in Los Angeles, choral conductor, associate minister, interior decorating delivery man, social worker and personnel analyst for the county of Los Angeles. All of this while living in a “treehouse” in South Pasadena with an indoor kitchen and bedroom outdoors amidst the foliage.\n\nHaving read a great deal of literature, and in the midst of his studies in philosophy as a young man, he determined to live according to a few simple principles, none of which were inspired by religion. “Regret what you do, not what you failed to do!” was chief among them. As a summation of his intellectual achievement this may seem too flippant, even thoughtless, but it was not. Rather, it was a synthesis of serious thought. Therefore, on the basis of this possibly risky tenet, he spent his life in the pursuit of learning, love, beauty, adventure, and intensity.\n\nDarrell was also the kind of person who, simply stated, knew how to get things done. A colleague of Darrell's once said of him, “Darrell is not only intelligent, he’s also smart — He knows how to do things.” His wife, Fran, for many years remembered a quote from a John Irving novel, “You've got to get obsessed and stay obsessed.”, thinking it was an excellent description of Darrell's approach to living. His practical smarts and his intense nature served him well in every aspect of his life.\n\nThis included his adoration of all things related to sailboats. As E.B. White wrote, “If a man must be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most.” In retirement, Darrell outfitted a Southern Cross 31 sailboat (Thalia) and planned a trip with Fran to live aboard for a year and a half. The couple sailed the eastern seaboard from their beloved Maine to Florida, crossed that state via canals and around the Okeechobee Lake to the western shore, and eventually meandered back home to Maine. Along the way, they anchored overnight almost all the time, rode their bikes to explore new ports, made new friends, had some hair-raising adventures, and ate fabulous seafood. The couple long considered this trip, during which they communed with nature and savored time together, as a precious memory and highlight of their many years together.\n\nEventually, Darrell sold Thalia deciding it was time to move on to other pursuits. As any sailor knows, that was a laughable notion. Sailors do not stop sailing. So, this is the pattern that took place. Darrell would lean against the kitchen door jamb while Fran was cooking, a glass of wine in his hand, and mention a perfect old boat he'd seen advertised. Then he'd present his case, describing the wondrous qualities of this vessel, reminding Fran of all the fabulous experiences they'd had sailing before, and proposing that they begin their sailing adventures again. Fran was always convinced – and so they would set out to purchase a new, very old boat and Darrell would begin the enormous work, most of which he did himself, to renovate the old beauty. They would set sail again and after some years, Darrell would decide he had enough of this crazy sailing life. Then, sure enough, he'd appear in the kitchen doorway again and the process would repeat itself. The last small, old sailboat the couple purchased was in Darrell's eightieth year.\nIn 1995 he started one of the first web-development businesses in Maine, Eyemagic Web Developers, and spent much of the next decade creating web sites for more than eighty clients.\n\nHe retired a second time in 2003 to devote his time to travel, woodshop projects, and digital art photo collages. Darrell’s digital photo collages each incorporated thousands of images and either fell into the category of social/political commentary or were reflections on his personal journeys. They were exhibited in various galleries in the Portland area.\n\nDarrell had a great capacity to love. He felt great pride in, and affection for his children, Hadley and her husband Jade, Geoff and his wife Claire, and his grandchildren Chelsea, Gillan, Jasper, Jax, Jade, and Syd. He treasured dear friends and extended family and felt great appreciation for all who offered kind support during his illness. To the end, he found enormous happiness in his thirty six year relationship with his wife, Fran Vita-Taylor. They were truly partners in every sense of the word, sharing love of family, friends, arts and nature, travel, political views, and always engaging in deep and rich communication. Most importantly, they shared joy.\n\nHonoring Darrell’s wishes, there will be no formal ceremony. Arrangements are under the direction of the Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Home of Portland. To view Darrell’s memorial page or to share an online condolence, please visit www.ConroyTullyWalker.com. \n\nIf you would like to make a donation in Darrell’s name in lieu of flowers, please consider the enormously kind and professional Hospice of Southern Maine or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.