Andrew Earl Taylor (1934-1987)
- Andrew Taylor was born on May 15, in Culpeper, Virginia to the late George W. and Ruth Lewis Taylor.
- Educated in the Culpeper Public School System where he graduated from George Washington Carver Regional High School in Rapidan, VA (Culpeper County)
- Married his high school sweetheart, the former Catherine Dennis, shortly after graduation. To this union were born three loving children Andrea, Dennis, and Eileen.
- Accepted Christ at an early age and became a member of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Culpeper, Virginia. This is where the foundation of his life was laid, and his spiritual development began.
- When he moved to Norfolk, Virginia, he joined the First Baptist Church Bute Street where he served as a Trustee and a member of the board of the First Baptist Church Home for the Aged.
- Promoted to manager of the Norfolk district of Richmond Beneficial Life Insurance Company, which merged with Universal Life Insurance Company in 1965
- He was a life member of the Life Underwriters Honorary Society of the National Insurance Association.
- Graduated from the 13th Institute in Agency Management of the National Insurance Association and received his LUTC Diploma from the Life Underwriter Training Council at Virginia Wesleyan College.
- He also received a certificate of Effective Management for Minority Managers from Old Dominion University and received a certificate for LIMRA's School in District Management in Buck Hill Falls, Pennsylvania.
- Andrew Taylor passed away December 2, 1987. He is survived by his wife, Catherine Dennis Taylor; two daughters, Andrea Taylor Clark and Eileen Bonita Taylor; one son, Andrew Dennis Taylor; daughter-in-law, Willa Mae; grandchildren, Victoria E. and Andrew M. Taylor; one sister, Shirley Burton-Scott; and a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, extended family and friends.
Andrew was a great admirer of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and expressed on many occasions his fondness for the following passage ....
"Every now and then I think about my own death, and I think about my own funeral ... I don't want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long ... Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize ... Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards .... I'd like somebody to mention that day, that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. I'd like for somebody to say that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody ..."
"Say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. That I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won't have any money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind."2
The Richmond Beneficial Insurance Co. Leads them all
January 4, 1902
The Planet praises the all-black Richmond Beneficial Insurance Company for its growth and acceptance, after overcoming prejudices in the business world.
Typically, a beneficial organization paid out sick dues and burial benefits to its members. The organizations might also donate money to organizations that served the African American community and to individuals in need. Also, they would set up scholarships at Virginia Union University and honored individuals and businesses in the area for their community service.
1“The Richmond Beneficial Insurance Co. Leads them all,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed September 7, 2022, https://blackvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/49
2VCU James Branch Cabell Library, Astoria Beneficial Club and Richmond Beneficial Insurance records, https://archives.library.vcu.edu/repositories/5/resources/381, accessed on October 20, 2022
3Homegoing Program, December 1987, Shiloh Baptist Church, Woodville, VA, Rev. John A. Holmes officiating.