James Taylor Virdell Sr., 90, of Llano died Dec. 11, 2014

James Taylor Virdell Sr. was born in Rochelle, Texas, on Jan., 22, 1924, the first child of James Clarence and Annie Myrtle Taylor Virdell. He died Dec. 11, 2014.

In 1936, he moved with his family to Llano, where he lived since that time. After high school, he served 38 months in the Army Air Corp as an aerial engineer on B-25 bombers. In April 1944, he and Annelle Therese Lehmberg were married.

Beginning his profession as a water well drilling contractor after the service, he developed and was owner of Virdell Drilling Inc., a company engaged in the drilling of water wells, pump installation and well service. The Virdells have been drilling wells in Central Texas for five generations — 114 years.

Taylor was a devoted family man and took much pride in watching his children and grandchildren in their numerous activities. He also took part in church and civic activities in his community as well as served on state and national levels in the groundwater industry. He served as director and president of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and Llano Chamber of Commerce and, in 1984, was named the Llano Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen. For six years, he was on the Llano Independent School District school board, serving as president for two years. He served 12 years on the Llano City Council and two years as mayor pro-tem and was very instrumental in the Llano Athletic Booster Club, serving as its first president. In 2007, received the Humanitarian Award for the Llano High School Hall of Fame.

He was a member of the Texas Ground Water Association, was elected to the board of directors in 1968, was president for two years and was named an honorary member. He also was a member of the National Ground Water Association, was elected to the board of directors in 1977, served as president in 1984 and was given a Lifetime Honorary membership. He was appointed by Gov. Dolph Briscoe to the Texas Water Well Drillers Board for six years, serving as chairman for two years, and was a member of the Advisory Committee for Tarleton State University’s hydrology department.

Taylor’s faith and love of His Lord was evident in all phases of his life as he served on many boards and committees at Lutie Watkins Memorial United Methodist Church as well as lay speaker and Sunday school teacher. The community Thanksgiving meal served by his church and others was originated by Taylor. He had a passion for serving on Emmaus and Kairos teams and is credited with naming Llano’s Emmaus Community the Llano Uplift Emmaus Community. He also served on the Southwest Conference Emmaus Board for one year, was on the first Kairos team inside Texas prisons, served as director of Kairos #4, was on the Kairos board of directors as chairman for one year and represented the Texas Kairos Board of Kairos International.

Taylor is survived by his wife of 70 years, Annelle; two daughters, Vicki and husband Frosty of Pontotoc and Constance and husband Walter of Valley Spring; son, James Taylor Virdell Jr. and wife Brenda of Fredericksburg; seven grandchildren, Faron Miller, Fara Miller Underwood and husband Matt, Brice Milliorn and wife Mechelle, Micah Milliorn Goebel and husband Garrison, Kiley Virdell Bounds and husband Justin, Caleb Virdell and Ty Virdell and wife Ainsley; 10 great-grandchildren, Nathan, Austin and Kinley Miller, Maci and Mitchell Underwood, Alexis and Zander Milliorn and Jaxon, Beaux Taylor and Caiden Virdell.

In 2015, the family wlll be blessed with three more great-grandchildren.

Also, surviving him are his sister, Mrs. Lee (Annette) Ussery; sister-in-law, Mrs. J.B. “Corky” Virdell; numerous neices, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother J.B. “Corky” Virdell.

The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to Taylor’s caregivers, Jade Chism, Rhonda Herridge and Marjorie Ferguson, for their excellent and compassionate care during these final years.

The family requests memorial contributions be made to Lutie Watkins Memorial United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 397, Llano, TX 78643; the Llano High School Hall of Fame, 1400 S. Oatman St., Llano, TX 78643; the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 5715, Valley Spring, TX 76885; or the charity of one’s choice.

Pallbears for Taylor will be his grandchildren, Faron Miller, Brice Milliorn, Caleb and Ty Virdell, Fara Miller Underwood, Kiley Virdell Bounds and Micah Milliorn Goebel, and grandsons-in-law, Matt Underwood, Justin Bounds and Garrison Goebel.

Arrangements by Waldrope-Hatfield-Hawthorne Funeral Home, 307 E. Sandstone in Llano, (325) 247-4300. Email whhfuneral1@verizon.net with condolences.

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