Antelope Island manager retires

May 14 2011 - 8:55pm



WEST POINT -- After living nearly nine years on Antelope Island, retired state park manager Ron Taylor is moving to the mainland.

But not too far from the island's shadow.

"There are a lot of mixed emotions anytime you leave something you love and are passionate about," said Taylor, 62.

Taylor, after 23 years with Utah State Parks and Recreation, retired Thursday from his position as Antelope Island State Park manager and moved his family to West Point.

"We didn't want to go out of Davis County," said Suzanne Taylor, Ron's wife.

He said he plans on planting a garden in the backyard of his new home, which was something he could not do on the island.

The Taylors lived on the island for nine years and had several memorable experiences. From noisy night winds that kept them from sleeping to finding snakes, mice and moths all through their house, the family truly became one with the island.

"Each year has been a great adventure, and that's the way we looked at it, even though it wasn't always the most pleasant," Ron Taylor said. "That's what parks are about, experiencing nature."

Suzanne Taylor said she will miss the quietness that comes with living on the island, but she won't miss the island bugs or the causeway she regularly had to cross to go to work at Syracuse Elementary as a reading assistant.

"Happy days," Suzanne Taylor said of her husband's retirement, which they planned to celebrate with a few friends Friday night.

The move from the island, she said, also puts them closer to one of their five children, who lives in West Point.

"That's been a good thing, to have our kids right there."

Before coming to Antelope Island, Ron Taylor worked at Huntington, Millsite and Scofield state parks for six years.

Chris Haramota, assistant manager at Antelope Island State Park, is serving as interim park manager.

Ron Taylor has already taken a position with Friends of Antelope Island, a group that promotes the use of the island through activities. The group also develops fundraisers to generate revenue to pay for island improvements.

"Ron Taylor has been a great advocate and friend for Antelope Island," said Davis County Commissioner Bret Millburn. "He has embraced ideas and developed partnerships that have been beneficial for the island and for Davis County as a whole.

"Ron's enthusiasm and passion for the island and his amiable personality will be missed."

Standard-Examiner Davis Bureau reporter Jasen Asay contributed to this article.

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