Lance Corporal Joshua Taylor, 21, passed away after an explosion at Nevada's Hawthorne Army Depot during training exercises on Monday (March 18, 2013) that also took the lives of six other Marines.
Born on April 27, 1991, Joshua was the son of Jennifer (Stephens) and Robert Collins. Surviving are three sisters and one brother, Gabrielle Taylor, Rebekah Taylor, Franklin Taylor, and Ashley Hocker. Stepsiblings include Alyssa and Benjamyn Collins. Joshua is survived by grandparents Larry and Tammy Stephens and Barbara Eilers and great-grandparents, Wayne and Ella Stephens and Mary Ross and Jack and Wanda Wagner. Many aunts, uncles and cousins also survive.
Joshua was also survived by his fiancee and high school sweetheart Abigail Malone; they were to be married on May 11, 2013 in Marietta.
Josh graduated from Marietta High School in 2010 and upon graduation, immediately entered the Marine Corps. After basic training, Joshua was stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and served tours of duty in both Afghanistan and Kuwait. From a very young age, Joshua chose to serve his country and the Marine Corps was always his first choice, and to be always faithful (Semper Fi).
Josh's enthusiasm and love for the Marine Corps was evident when he was featured by a New York news station for Marine week in New York City. He was born to be a Marine and you see his passion as he educates the public in his specialized area of mortar weaponry.
The family wishes that Joshua be remembered for several things in his twenty-one years of life; a short, but full, life well lived. He loved to spend time at home with his family, he spent countless nights playing board games and card games with his sisters. Josh loved spending time with Abbey and planning their wedding together. He also loved working out, swimming, was a gun enthusiast, and loved to target practice.
Joshua valued people; he had a smile and gentle mannerism that left a lasting impression on everyone he met. Whenever he was out and about in the community if Joshua spotted a veteran he would go out of his way to approach them, shake their hand and thank them for their service. A few of the traits that stand out among family and friends is Josh's unabashed and unwavering love for his mother, his family and his fiancee. He was a 'true young gentleman' with a very compassionate, giving and loving heart.
Family and friends alike acknowledge with sadness the sudden loss of Josh, but also the joy that his presence in their lives brought them. He will be remembered for his gentle spirit, huge, beautiful smile, his 'gorgeous burst of red hair,' and his unfailing faith.
Visitation will be at Hadley Funeral Home Reno Chapel, 1021 Pike St., on Friday (March 29) from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Funeral services will take place at Marietta High School auditorium with full military honors on Saturday (March 30) at 10 a.m. Officiating at Joshua's service will be Keith Malone and Brian Stewart. Graveside services and burial will be in Mound Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Wounded Warriors Project or the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
Online condolences may be made at www.hadleyfh.com.