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Obituary: Wallace Taylor, W.F. Taylor founder

SHELTON, WASH.—Wallace “Wally” Taylor, founder of adhesives manufacturer W.F. Taylor and one of the segment’s true icons, died Sept. 22. He was 84.

Taylor was a pioneer in the formulation of adhesives for the floor covering industry with the advent of glue down carpet applications. Ever the ideal entrepreneur, the Taylor Co. also became a market force in tackless strip, hot melt tape and tool manufacturing. These product lines were eventually sold to other flooring accessory entities and are still sold today.

Taylor grew up in Seattle, where his father owned a brake and service station. He served in the Navy, concluding his training as a gunner just as World War II was ending. After the service he attended college, earning a degree in chemistry from the University of Arizona.

Taylor settled in Whittier, Calif., where using his chemistry experience, he became a successful businessman in the adhesives industry, eventually forming W.F. Taylor in 1977. He later sold the company to a British holding company, Reed Publishing, in 1984.

In 1989, Jack Raidy, W.F. Taylor’s current chairman, bought the company from Williams Holding, another subsequent British owner, and today W.F. Taylor remains a family-run company. “Wally left a strong legacy to build upon and was viewed as a consummate gentle- man by our customers and employees,” Raidy said. “He had remained a valued resource over the years.”

Taylor is survived by his wife, Julia; son, Allan; daughter, Judy; grandson, Brandon; and many step-children and step-grandchildren.