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Posted on February 7, 2018 | 12:21 p.m.

R. Loring Taylor of Montecito, 1938-2018

Source: Andrew J. Taylor

Richard Loring Taylor
Richard Loring Taylor

Richard “Loring” Taylor perished, along with three of his wife Perm’s descendants, in January’s tragic flood in Montecito, Calif. He was 79 years old. He died on Jan. 9, 2018.

No one who knew Richard “Loring” Taylor remained unaffected by this unconventional, adventurous, inquisitive and terminally generous man.

Loring was born on Nov. 19, 1938, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. At that time, Loring’s parents were U.S. citizens living in Jasper Park, Alberta.

Not confident that Jasper had appropriately trained medical personnel for the birth of their first child, Loring’s parents traveled to the provincial capital for a better guarantee of capable medical care, should that have been necessary.

From first-through-seventh grade, Loring attended Shawnigan Lake School, a boys’ boarding school on Vancouver Island, Canada. The school delivered on its promises of stern discipline and rigorous academics.

Meanwhile, Loring’s parents had moved to Santa Barbara. Loring entered eighth grade at Laguna Blanca School in Hope Ranch, Calif. The next year, he went to Santa Barbara High School, from which he graduated before he matriculated into University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB).

Loring eventually took a Ph.D in English literature from UCSB. He started his teaching career at the University of Connecticut, but eventually found a need for more distant horizons.

Loring’s first overseas destination was on a Fulbright fellowship teaching English literature in Romania.

After returning to Connecticut from his fellowship, Loring soon decided to continue exploring the world and moved to Jordan, where he taught for many years.

He then had a brief stint in Yemen and finally settled in Oman where he taught until he retired.

During his time as an expat professor, Loring traveled extensively in search of antiques, using his travels to culturally enrich himself and his family — and he never turned down a chance to try authentic local cuisine.

Loring retired to the property in Montecito that he had owned since the 1960s. He felt deeply connected to the property and enjoyed spending time on it, whether watching his daughter’s cat catch gophers, gardening with his stepson, or sweeping up leaves while his step-grandchildren played around him.

Loring spent his retirement much like he spent the rest of his life: reading books, caring for his family, telling stories, and making friends wherever he went.

Loring is survived by his wife Perm, his daughter Freya, step-daugher-in-law Aw, his brother Marshall, sister-in-law Ellen, nephews Matthew and Andrew, four grand nephews and one grand-niece.

There will be a private memorial service for family and close friends at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History at 2 p.m. Feb. 9.

— Andrew J. Taylor


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