Snake bite: Deputy pays tribute to ‘kind, generous’ husband
IN THE end, there was the love of his family, gathered around his bed.
A glass of Glenfiddich with his name on it.
And the sound of Neil Diamond and Slim Dusty and all his favourites to carry him away.
On Saturday morning in Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital, Toowoomba's Roger Taylor passed peacefully, succumbing to complications following a brown snake attack that happened a little over a week before.
The 76-year-old owner of animal-care institution C and R Kennels, he was the husband of the Toowoomba Regional Council deputy mayor, Cr Carol Taylor.
On the evening of Friday, January 10, Roger thought he had simply scratched his finger on a wire on his Vale View property, and did not see the snake in the evening light as he moved tree netting from behind his car.
He drove into Toowoomba and later collapsed, striking the floor heavily with his head as he arrived at a friend's birthday party in a Toowoomba restaurant.
Resuscitated at the scene by ambulance personnel and transferred to the Toowoomba Hospital, Roger was able to speak with doctors and family.
But his condition quickly worsened, and he was flown to the Princess Alexandra Hospital for emergency neurosurgery on January 11.
Roger never regained consciousness.
"He was an amazing man whose warmth, kindness and generosity touched so many people," Cr Taylor said.
"His last two years were difficult, with a mild stroke, a heart problem, a back operation and two serious hand injuries from dog bites.
"But he had a knee replacement last year and he was pain-free for the first time in years. He was flying high and happy."
Roger had a wonderful affinity with all creatures, from dogs and cats to sheep and horses and wild animals.
He even had a colony of Cunningham skinks that he handfed, and did the same with the local magpies.
Born in Toowoomba on February 28, 1943 to Richard and Zelle Taylor, he had an older sister, Margaret (deceased) and a younger brother, Malcolm.
He is survived by his wife, Carol, his daughter, Lisa (52), and his son, Michael (51). He has four grandchildren: Kate Hunter, Tori Whittaker, Connor Whittaker and Milena Taylor, along with two great grandchildren, Emma and Oscar Hunter.
His early adult life was spent working around Dirranbandi before joining the Post Master General's department as a linesman and eventually managing the Goondiwindi line depot.
He married Carol Estelle Wilson at Herston in 1966 and spent the majority of his life in Goondiwindi, serving as president of the local Apex, Swimming and Water Polo Clubs as well as local controller for Goondiwindi's State Emergency Service branch.
An accomplished rural rugby league player, he also served as the secretary of the Warwick and District Rugby League.
Roger was a renowned camp-oven cook, once cooking alone for more than 700 people (including the State Governor).
The Taylors moved to Vale View from Goondiwindi in 1998.
Cr Taylor said her family had taken great comfort from the messages of support and love over the last week.