Heartbroken by the loss of our beloved son, brother, nephew, cousin, friend, and love of Deidra’s life, Ben Taylor, to a sudden apparent heart attack at age 38. Ben was born to Eulon Ross & Janice (Heck) Taylor at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and grew up primarily in San Antonio, TX and Lubbock, TX. He was the first child of his generation on both sides of his family. He was a joy and delight from his first moments. A warm, wonderful, thoughtful, intelligent, funny, talented person.
Ben was a smart and natural leader. As a child, he led the cousin group, who gathered from afar during summers at their aunt’s house for “Aunt Judy’s Camp-to-come-to,” with fun activities from field trips, to the regal and athletic “Silly Olympics.” Being the oldest, Ben carefully helped the little ones through the obstacle courses, just to make sure everyone made it. The cousins bonded and had the most joyful times together during those summers. Through middle school and high school, he had his “posse” of good buddies. Ben was the fun-loving but responsible presence who made sure their good times were always memorable but never went TOO far. 😉
Ben was slow to anger, usually preferring diplomacy to war, but of course he and his sisters could push each other’s buttons and squabble at home. However, out on their own it was a united front to protect each other. They are friends, not just siblings.
He was a talented musician. He wasn’t “just a drummer,” but a talented, classically trained percussionist. From middle school on, he played wherever he could, including paid gigs, bands, and orchestras. He was a percussionist with the Lubbock Youth Symphony Orchestra (LYSO) during middle school and high school. His Timpani skills were legendary. He delighted in teaching and mentoring middle school percussionists while he was in High School and loved playing drum set in jazz band.
Ben’s interests and talents were wide ranging, and he embraced and mastered new technologies with ease. In addition to his love of music, he was a huge fan of both college and professional sports. He began collecting basketball cards when he was 7 and quickly became a life-long fan of the San Antonio Spurs and later the Texas Tech University Red Raiders. He loved fantasy football and never missed filling out his bracket for March Madness. More recently he had taken up golf and enjoyed playing a round with his good friend, Brandon Little.
After graduating from Lubbock High School in 2001, Ben attended Texas Tech University where he was a member of the Marching Band from Raider Land drumline. While at TTU he became a master percussionist and played in numerous music ensemble groups – Steel Drum band anyone? After moving to Austin, he played gigs as a drummer with several groups of aspiring performers before deciding to focus fully on his career. He started college as a music major before discovering his incredible talent as a business leader. He received a BA in Communications from Texas Tech University in 2006. His drive to work in the entertainment industry began at his first movie theatre job at age 16, his favorite part being the box office. He began his career in the festival and event ticketing industry in 2002 at the city of Lubbock’s Select-a-Seat, while still in college, and then with Front Gate Tickets in 2007 where he recently celebrated his 14th anniversary. He worked his way up the ladder, receiving one well-deserved promotion after another until becoming President of Front Gate Tickets in 2019. He was a compassionate and caring manager before and throughout this COVID year, which proved to be an incredibly difficult time for everyone who works in the live event and festival business.
Ben was a wise, calm, compassionate man with a quiet wry wit and a talent for mentoring others. “Coach Taylor” was a wonderful communicator, talented public speaker, good listener, amazing problem solver, and excellent negotiator. He could smooth ruffled feathers with his warm, calm, confident manner and successfully resolved crises of all sorts (technical as well as interpersonal). Ben protected everyone: family, friends, co-workers, employees and even strangers. He did his best to take “the hit” in order to protect others, especially those working for and with him. He was generous, and offered rides, money, hugs, his ear, his time, and his space to those in need. Ben loved kids and although he had none of his own, adored spending time with his niece and nephew, who love their Uncle Ben. He loved dogs and they loved him. From the time the Taylors added their first K9 family members to now, the dogs chose their favorite person and it was almost always Ben. He had a great sense of humor, always up for a good joke- FGT mac-n-cheese anyone? He knew how to have a proper party. He and Deidra decorate for EVERY holiday enhancing the fun and celebration. What, don’t you have Cinco de Mayo decorations? 😀
Ben is survived by his partner, in crime, life and love, Deidra Sibila, his “baby”- French bulldog, Cocoa, parents Ross & Jan Taylor, sisters Pam Taylor (Brad Bingham) and Emily Taylor (Andrew Derry), Grandparents Jim and Jo Ann Heck, uncles Tim Taylor (Mark Chaney) and Jeff Heck (Donna), Aunt Judy Heck Lowry (Stephen) and first cousins, Sara Bennett (Rusty), Mandy Brickner (Sean), Josh Leedy (Kim), Dennette Santamaria (Erik), and Alex Leedy, as well as many other family members, friends and colleagues. Too soon lost, dearest one. Rest in peace. We love you forever.
Due to the pandemic, there will be no formal gathering at this time. However, we look forward to welcoming friends and family for a celebration of Ben’s life when it is again safe for all of us to travel from near and far and gather together for a party like Ben would have thrown. At this time, we hope you will take a moment to share on this website your thoughts, feelings, and/or memories of Ben. The family requests no flowers at this time. If you would like to honor Ben, please consider a donation in his memory to the charity of your choice or to one of the following non-profit organizations, which support causes that were important to Ben.
The Red River Cultural District – https://redriverculturaldistrict.org/donate (In support of the Austin live music community, venue workers, musicians, creatives, service industry, and production workers.)
33 Forever – https://33forever.life/donate (Established by Ben’s family 2 years ago to raise awareness, reduce stigma, promote action about mental health and well-being by policy makers, community leaders, practitioners and help those struggling with the disease of depression, anxiety, finding self-worth, including suicidal thoughts and their families to find supportive resources.)
Big Bend Conservancy – https://bigbendconservancy.square.site/#dtSIBg (Protects, promotes and raises funds for Big Bend National Park and the Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River in partnership with the National Park Service.)