Taylor’s Trust Fund Lives On
It has been six years since the death of 18-year-old Zachary Taylor. Yet, his name endures with the legacy of his carefree and generous spirit.
The Zachary Taylor Trust Fund was created in 2011 when 17-year-old Taylor was preparing for his own funeral. He had battled cancer his entire life, and in November 2011, he was told he had one-to-two weeks to live.
Taylor didn’t give up though, and he set forth to make his last days as joyous and as carefree as possible. He also decided he didn’t want his family to have the burden of planning his funeral. Thus, he decided to make the preparations himself.
Weldon Williams, of Jarvis-Williams Funeral Home and Williams Funeral Home, was moved by Taylor’s concern for his family. Therefore, Williams opened the “Zachary Taylor Trust” account at WesBanco.
In Williams’ mind, if everyone would go to WesBanco and donate even one dollar, Taylor’s final respects would be paid.
This happened, and more. Taylor’s story and life inspired thousands. The Zachary Taylor Trust quickly grew large enough to cover Taylor’s funeral expenses, with funds leftover.
The excess, Taylor decided, should be paid forward to help other families facing the unimaginable – paying for the funeral expenses of their young loved ones.
That is exactly what the fund still does for families of those 18 or younger – all in the name of the inspiring young man who didn’t want to burden his family.
Taylor did succumb to the cancer that haunted him his entire life. However, he outlasted the doctors’ prediction of one-to-two weeks, enjoying five more months while inspiring many.
Taylor lived by the motto: FROG – Forever Rely On God. In turn, an estimated nine families – families of mere infants to families of 18-year-olds planning for college, all lost too soon – have been able to rely on the legacy Taylor left behind – the Zachary Taylor Trust.
The Mason family is just one of the families who have found a peace of mind, thanks to the Trust Fund.
Elisha Kay and Colin James Mason had to deal with an unimaginable tragedy when their baby girl, Maria Bell, passed away in 2015.
“After all the stuff we tried to do to keep her with us, and it didn’t work It was like the world stopped. Trying to plan her funeral was even harder. Every part of me didn’t want to believe it was true. How on Earth would we be able to pay for it?” Elisha explained.
Elisha said she and Colin met with Williams to discuss Maria Bell’s arrangements. “The thought of not knowing how much it would cost was in our minds the whole time. We know our little angel deserves a beautiful funeral, even if it will take forever to cover it.”
“Weldon helped us plan everything, even down to her beautiful urn. Before we were ready to go, he told us about the Zachary Taylor Trust Fund. He told us how this boy wanted to help other families who lost their babies to not have to carry the thought of ‘How am I going to cover this?'”
“It was the best news. It was a heavy weight lifted off of our shoulders, that all we had to focus on was healing and moving forward. Everyone needs to hear the story of Zachary and donate money to it, so the next family will not have to have that heavy weight on their shoulders too,” stated Elisha Mason.
Those who are interested in donating to the Zachary Taylor Trust Fund are encouraged to visit any WesBanco and make a deposit toward the account. With a generous community’ help, the Zachary Taylor Trust Fund, and the peace of mind it offers, will continue to endure.