Sewanee’s Fourth of July Parade Committee is proud to announce that Ken and Lynn Taylor are the Grand Marshals for 2023!
No strangers to the community, Ken and Lynn Taylor have been an active part of civic life for more than three decades.
Lynn graduated from Hixson High School in Chattanooga. She pursued a career as a Registered Radiologic Technologist. She and Ken met at the Cookeville General Hospital where she worked in the X-Ray department, and he was an orderly.
Ken graduated from Franklin County High School in 1972, and went on to pursue a degree in chemistry from Tennessee Tech. After being denied admission to medical school in 1976, Taylor went on to get his masters in microbiology. He had worked for years to make his dream of becoming a physician a reality, but after working for 18 months in a lab studying tuberculosis bacteria, he turned down an offer from Vanderbilt. He wanted to come home.
Ken and Lynn had stayed in touch through the years. She moved to the mountain in 1986. Lynn applied for a position as a CT technologist at the Winchester Southern Tennessee Medical Center, and soon after was named Director of Radiology there. She then went to work at an orthopedic surgeon’s office. Ken and Lynn were married in 1988.
Before opening Taylor’s Mercantile, Ken got his start as a small business entrepreneur selling his greenhouse-raised plants on the steps in front of the University Bookstore on campus. He had built a greenhouse at his mother’s house in Jump Off, in 1981. Ken and his mother, Evelyn, bought Hamilton Hardware and Electric in 1984 and Taylor’s Mercantile began. Both were working at Emerald-Hodgson Hospital at the time.
Lynn retired from the medical field in 2015 to help her husband full-time in the family business.
Ken and Lynn are active members at the Parish of St. Mark and St. Paul, having served on the vestry. Lynn is currently the senior warden and has been active with Stephen Ministries.
Ken has served on the boards of the Sewanee Civic Association, Folks at Home, Contact Lifeline, and is a member of the Sewanee Business Alliance and St. Augustine’s Guild. He has been a member of the University’s Special Events Team for the last 15 years.
Their favorite part of living here is the support from the community. Taylor’s Mercantile will soon celebrate 40 years in business. Their reasoning behind being the longest continuous business owners in Sewanee’s history is the incredible sense of “Ecce Quam Bonum” that characterizes the community. The duo’s dedication and talents are evident in community events such as receptions, weddings and special occasions. The annual Greening of the Chapel is the highlight of each year for them, helping to bring the community together to prepare for Lessons and Carols.
Ken and Lynn still live out in the Jump Off community with their three dogs. Their daughter, Anna Lee, lives in Chattanooga. They are honored to be selected as grand marshals for the Sewanee Fourth of July parade. They are looking forward to seeing old friends and to represent the whole community in such a wonderful small town tradition.
Please join us on Tuesday, July 4, to celebrate Ken and Lynn, two of Sewanee’s finest!
Themes and Grand Marshals throughout the Years
1986 TENNESSEE HOMECOMING
GM –ARTHUR BEN CHITTY
1987 COMMUNITY SPIRIT FOR ALL
GM –JAMES AVENT
1988 AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL - SEWANEE THE BEAUTIFUL
GM –MAJORS FAMILY
1989 HAPPINESS IS...
GM –SAM AND JOAN WILLIAMSON
1990 CELEBRATE FREEDOM
GM –LON AND KATHRYN VARNELL
1991 A SALUTE TO AMERICA'S HEROES
GM –CLINTON WILLIAMS
1992 THE 4TH: A GREAT TIME FOR REUNION
1993 SEWANEE GOES COUNTRY
GM –STORMIN' NORMAN FROM 93.3 COUNTRY
1994 THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH
GM –ERIC ELLIS & STUDENTS FROM SES
1995 A DECADE OF FIREWORKS & FUN - A TENNESSEE TRADITION
GM –ARTHUR BEN CHITTY
1996 200 YEARS OF VOLUNTEERS - A BICENTENNIAL BLAST
GM –CHIEF DAVID GREEN
1997 A FAIRY TALE 4TH OF JULY
GM –PAUL AND EVELYN MOONEY
1998 EVENTS IN AMERICAN HISTORY
GM –BILL AND BETTY KERSHNER
1999 A CENTURY TO REMEMBER
GM –MYRTIS KEPPLER AND MARTHA MCCRORY
2000 SEWANEE IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM
GM –JOEL AND TRUDY CUNNINGHAM
2001 2001: AN AMERICAN ODYSSEY
GM –DUVIE CRAVENS
2002 A SALUTE TO AMERICA’S HEROES
GM –SEWANEE FIRE DEPARTMENT, POLICE DEPARTMENT & EMS
2003 GOD BLESS AMERICA
GM – ACTIVE / RETIRED VETERANS / MILITARY
2004 AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL
GM – DORA TURNER
2005 AMERICA – LAND OF THE FREE
GM –JACK GESSELL
2006 CELEBRATE THE GRAND OL’ FLAG
GM –LOUISE IRWIN AND INA MYERS AND MONTY ADAMS
AND HENRY ARNOLD (HONORARY)
2007 CELEBRATING OUR FOUNDING FATHERS
GM –HARRY YEATMAN
2008 SEWANEE GOES GREEN FOR THE RED, WHITE, & BLUE
GM –JOE AND MARY SUE CUSHMAN
2009 AN OLD-FASHIONED FOURTH
GM –JOE DAVID MCBEE
IN MEMORY OF DARLA SHERRILL
2010 A STAR SPANGLED 4TH
GM -JOHN AND BONNIE MCCARDELL
2011 25 YEARS OF CELEBRATING THE 4TH
GM -GERALDINE PICCARD AND DAVID GREEN
2012 A YANKEE DOODLE 4TH
GM -JAMES AND LULA BURNETT
2013 AN APPLIE PIE 4THOF JULY
GM -ANNE LORENZ AND BETTY CARPENTER
2014 A RAZZLE DAZZLE 4THOF JULY
GM - CESAR LEAL AND GARY STURGIS
2015 SEWANEE PURPLE MOUNTAIN’S MAJESTY
GM -STEVE BLOUNT
2016 30 YEARS OF SEWANEE 4THOF JULY CELEBRATIONS
GM - MIKE MAXON
2017 MAY THE 4THBE WITH YOU
GM - ERIC AND MICHELLE BENJAMIN
2018 SEA TO SHINING SEA
GM - JOHN GASS BRATTON
2019 PEACE, LOVE, & FIREWORKS
GM - JOHN AND BONNIE GREEN
GM - DIXON AND ANNWYN MYERS
2022 HOT DIGGITY ALL-AMERICAN DOGS
GM - NANCY J. BERNER AND DAVID B. COE