Nelson-Berna Funeral Home and Crematory

4520 North Crossover Road, P.O. Box 8982, Fayetteville, AR

Phone: 479-521-5000


Dr. Larry Raymond Taylor

Fayetteville, AR

1935 - 2012

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Published: December 23, 2012

Dr. Larry Raymond Taylor of Fayetteville, formally of Ingram, Texas, died Dec. 18, 2012, at his home surrounded by his family after a courageous battle with liver cancer. He was 77 years old. Larry was born May 15, 1935, in Carnegie, Okla., to Raymond and Juanita (Harris) Taylor.

His father was a bridge painter, his mother a homemaker. A first generation college student, he graduated from Carnegie High School in 1952 and went to Southwestern State College in Weatherford, Okla., where he received a B.S. in pharmacy. He went on to medical school at the University of Oklahoma. He married his lifelong sweetheart, Nell, moved to Hawaii to complete his internship at St. Francis Hospital and then trained at Menninger School of Psychiatry in Topeka, Kan.

Larry committed his interest, experience and knowledge to mental illness and substance abuse. While living in the Kerrville, Texas, area, Larry raised a family, started a private practice and was medical director of La Hacienda Treatment Center. While trained in western traditional medicine, he was open to and explored alternative treatments, from acupuncture to spiritualism. He was a pioneer in the anti-smoking efforts of the 1980s; he was among the first to predict that smoking would eventually become "uncool."

An avid reader with a strong interest in knowing more about the human mind and body, he stayed current in the medical field and filled his life with knowledge, humanity and teaching.

Larry's distinguished medical career was a global one; he was a modern nomad, living in Oklahoma, California, Hawaii, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, Alaska, Arizona and Saudi Arabia.

In Fayetteville, Ark., he worked for the Veterans Hospital and Ozark Guidance Center. For the last 11 years, he, with Nell, traveled throughout the U.S. in their RV, crisscrossing the country and working as a locum tenens physician providing general psychiatric care.

With his unique ability to form personal connections, Larry will forever be remembered by generations of doctors, nurses and patients as a persuasive mentor who for 50 years helped thousands of people with his life-saving strategies to address addiction and mental health.

As an avid OU football fan, "Boomer Sooner" was his fight song, though he rooted for the Arkansas Razorbacks as his backup team. Often a fearless adventurer, he lived a life of zest, wanderlust and curiosity. He snorkeled the great oceans of the world, including the Red Sea, Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans, the Caribbean, and the Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea, and found solace and pleasure in fishing and gardening.

Open minded and authentic, yet opinionated (but not judgmental), Larry encouraged his patients, colleagues, friends and family to try new endeavors, often using his signature prophetic phrase "life is short" to inspire them. He loved and honored his family, enjoyed supporting his children's and grandchildren's interests, and became a great champion in helping them achieve their dreams.

Larry is survived by his wife of 54 years, Nell; daughter, Jenni Taylor Swain and her husband, David, of Fayetteville, Ark.; son, Dr. Matthew Taylor and his wife, Julie (Dias), of North Canton, Ohio; daughter, Julie (Taylor) Humphrey and her husband, Dan, of New River, Ariz.; sister, Jackie (Taylor) Stover of Victoria, Texas; brother, Bill Taylor and his wife, Billie Sue (Revel), of Lake Charles, La.; and five grandchildren, Aidan and Dominic Swain of Fayetteville and Grace, Greta and Matthew Taylor of North Canton, Ohio.

A celebration of life service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 27, at rhe Garden Room, 215 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville, Ark.

Memorial donations may be made to the Washington Regional Hospice, P.O. Box 356, Fayetteville, AR 72702; Rural Builders at Son's Chapel c/o Jeanette Loris, 2700 Brookbury Crossing, Fayetteville, AR 72703; or the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718.

Those wishing to sign Larry's guest book may do so at www.nelsonberna.com.

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