DUDLEY -- Bayless Earnest "Sonny" Taylor Jr., 80, died Jan. 6, 2009, at Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center.
Born Oct. 15, 1928, in Jacksonville, Ark., son of the late Bayless and Alma Taylor, he was a veteran of World War II and an active member and trustee of the Liberty Hill General Baptist Church in Aid. In 1938, he and his father brought innovative rice farming to Southeast Missouri from their home state of Arkansas. He was a board member of Southeast Cooperative in its formative years and instrumental in securing the Dudley Grain Elevator for local farmers. He created Taylor Fish Farms, from which he started the local Fish restaurants, Fiddlers, Fisherman's Net at Sikeston and Lake Wappapello.
On June 12, 1948, he married Mary Ellen Green, who survives of the home.
Other survivors include: four children, Debby and John Worley, Bayless Lee and Vicki Taylor, Marilyn Taylor Williams and Cheryl Taylor Edwards; and six grand children and three great-grandchildren.
Two brothers, Rudy Taylor and Eugene Taylor, also preceded him in death.
Visitation is from 1 p.m. until service time at 3 p.m. Thursday at Rainey-Mathis Funeral Home in Dexter. The Rev. Phil Warren and the Rev. Scott Sifford will officiate.
Burial will follow in the Dexter Cemetery.