Joe Taylor Obituary, Columbia City Councilman and Businessman Has Died

Joe Taylor Obituary, Death – Joe Earl Taylor J.R., 64, of Columbia, South Carolina has passed away on December 29, 2022. He was born on September 8, 1958. Joe was a born and raised South Carolinian, a successful businessman, and a loving husband and father. He cared greatly about his family, friends, and the state. Joe attended Wildewood School, where he was Student Body President and a key member of the football team. He is a native of South Carolina and an excellent leader. He went on to Wofford College, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity’s South Carolina Gamma Chapter. Joe was a dedicated Terrier alumnus who served on numerous boards, including a long stay on the Board of Trustees, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the College in 2019.

He and his father created Southland Log Homes while attending Wofford College. He swiftly rose to the position of president and CEO, leading the company to become North America’s largest manufacturer of pre-cut log cabins. In 2005, he sold the company. Joe’s tenure in state government began in 2003, when Mark Sanford nominated him chair of the South Carolina Jobs Economic Development Authority. The Governor named him Secretary of Commerce in 2006. Joe and his team worked relentlessly and enthusiastically to make South Carolina a business development hotspot.
Several of the state’s many victories throughout his tenure are mentioned in his biography as a City Councilman (linked): “South Carolina was named one of the most business-friendly states in the US, and it led the Southeast in job recruiting in 2009 and 2010. He led the team that landed The Boeing Company’s selection of Charleston, South Carolina, as the largest economic development project in state history, as well as First Quality Tissue in Anderson, SC, as the national economic development deal of the year in 2009. 2010 was the most successful year in South Carolina history in terms of new job creation. Senator Hugh Leatherman named Joe to the State Infrastructure Bank Board after his term with Commerce expired in 2011. ” Joe E. Taylor, Jr., City Councilman of the District of Columbia

Joe has dedicated the rest of his life to making our communities larger, stronger, and better for future generations. He mostly worked in real estate development, private equity, and business consulting, but he also held many ownership roles in a variety of other companies. In 2014, he made a name for himself in West Columbia by establishing Southland Capital Partners on State Street. He worked on the residential and commercial development of the surrounding area, as well as counseling local businesses and creating the West Columbia Food Map, a guide to Cayce and West Columbia’s best restaurants. In 2020, he was named “Man of the Year” in West Columbia.

Joe was elected to the Columbia Community Council in 2021, bringing his enthusiasm for economic growth and the creation of a healthy and safe city with him. He got right to work after being elected, chairing the Economic and Community Development Committee and serving on the Administrative Policy Committee and the Public Safety Committee. During his first year in office, Joe championed various projects, established strong relationships and teams, and set a lot of balls in motion, all in the sake of bettering and benefiting the Midlands.

Joe served on a number of important boards outside of the office. Governor Mark Sanford also bestowed the Order of the Palmetto on him, as well as the South Carolina Coaches Association’s Distinguished Service Award. Joe was an ardent bird hunter, Gamecocks fan, published cookbook author, wedding planner, and pie judge at the South Carolina State Fair. Joe’s wife, Amanda Walker Taylor, daughter Ann Taylor Corontzes (Beach), and son, John Walker Taylor, survive him. His in-laws, John Sadler Walker and Dolores Clarke Walker, his sister-in-law, Agnes Walker Yetman, and other cherished family members survive him. Joe’s father, Joe “Earl” Taylor, Sr., mother, Franke Schofield Taylor, and brother, Thomas “Tommy” Schofield Taylor, all died before him.

On Thursday, January 5th, services will be place at 1:00 p.m. in Columbia’s First Presbyterian Church, followed by a visitation in Jackson Hall (First Presbyterian Church).
In lieu of flowers, the family would request that donations be made to the newly established JET Fund in Joe’s honor. The JET Fund’s mission is to provide financial help to individual amputees in need of prosthetic equipment and services. Joe was firm on this point, and his family desires to carry on his legacy through this Fund. Donations can be made to the Central Carolina Community Foundation with the message line “JET Fund” (2142 Boyce Street, Suite 402, Columbia, SC 29201).

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