Fishers of Men: Rest in Peace, Robert

Fishers of Men: Rest in Peace, Robert “Tattered Flag” Taylor…

July 15, 2020 – It is with a great sadness in my heart that I am writing to announce the loss of a member of the Patriots’ Soapbox family, Robert “Tattered Flag” Taylor. Many of you will remember him from the PSB Help Desk, which he helped to pioneer in our Discord server, and which he had aptly named “the basement.”

It’s hard to express the shock and grief I know many of you are feeling.

The outpouring of words of support has been so touching. Robert was a Vietnam veteran, and he loved this country so much. He was a Patriot of the highest order.

The announcement came from local news on July 13, 2020. According to Anthony Mestas with the Pueblo Chieftain in an article entitled “Man Drowns at Lake Pueblo“:

A 68-year-old man drowned Monday morning after falling out of a fishing boat at Lake Pueblo State Park.

The man was identified as Robert Charles Taylor.

Pueblo County Coroner Brian Cotter said Taylor was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy is scheduled to confirm a presumed cause of death as drowning, the coroner said.

Park Manager Monique Mullis said a call came in about 8:45 a.m. Witnesses said he fell into the water about 8:30 a.m.

Another man in the boat was able to flag a pontoon boat over for help.

A person from that craft jumped in the water in an attempt to save Taylor. They then helped pull Taylor out of the water. He was not wearing a life jacket, Mullis said.

Another boater stopped and raced Taylor to the south ramp.

‘They attempted CPR and then rushed him to the south (boat) ramp where our officers took over CPR. An ambulance came and took over, but unfortunately, he didn’t make it,’ Mullis said.

The men were fishing about 15-20 minutes away from the south boat ramp near Perdro’s Point along the south shore near the west end of the lake.

Mullis said there were life jackets on the boat.

‘The law states that you have to have the proper life jackets with the proper size and they must be readily accessible,’ Mullis said.

‘Adults by law do not have to have their life jackets on. Kids 15 and under do have to have them on at all times. The followed the law, but as we all know, it’s too late to put on a life jacket when you have fallen in the water. That’s why you just need to wear them.’

Mullis said this was the fifth drowning this year at Lake Pueblo.

‘There is no extra thing that’s happen at the lake that’s making it any worse this year than any other year. These are all just tragic occurrences. There is no rhyme or reason of why they are happening,’ Mullis said. – The Pueblo Chieftain

Ms. Mullis said the claims on social media about there being dangerous under currents in the lake is not true. She said the lake is around 11 miles long and that is can get very windy and said that could have played a role in the tragic accident.

Andrew McMillan of KRDO News reports in an article entitled “Suspected Drowning at Lake Pueblo State Park Under Investigation,” that while it appears to be an accident, authorities are still investigating:

UPDATE: According to the Pueblo County Coroner the victim of the apparent drowning was 68-year old Pueblo resident Robert Taylor.

Park Rangers say Taylor was fishing on a friends boat near Pedro’s Point around 8:45 a.m. when he fell into the water without a life jacket on. The conditions were windy and the water was choppy ,which could have caused Taylor to fall out.

‘The water started to overtake the boat, the operator shifted his weight and turned the throttle to get out of the area, and that’s when he fell into the water,’ said Monique Mullis, the Lake Pueblo State Park Manager.

The 68-year old was in the water for 10 minutes before another boat was able to pull him out. Mullis says the people who took Taylor out of the water immediately began performing CPR, and took him to the south shore marina for further medical assistance.

‘Within ten minutes (after Taylor was brought to shore) the ambulance arrived, and took over care,’ said Mullis. ‘They determined the man was deceased at the scene.’

Lake Pueblo has seen its fair share of drownings, 5 so far this year.

‘It is a lot,’ said Mullis. ‘One is too many as far as I’m concerned but as far as there being any reason any trend or anything that is causing these drownings, no there is not. There is no rhyme or reason for when things happen.’

Neither Taylor or his fishing partner were wearing life jackets Monday morning, despite having two on the boat at the time. Park Rangers at Lake Pueblo encourage people to follow the rules when they enter the park, and to always wear a life jacket while on the lake.

Original Post:

A body was found in the water at Lake Pueblo State Park Monday morning, and Colorado Parks & Wildlife is investigating what happened to the victim.

The body was found near Pedro’s Cove, and officials told KRDO that it appears to be a drowning.

CPW says the victim was a 68-year-old man who fell from a small fishing boat. Passersby in a pontoon boat helped pull the victim from the water, but the man was dead.

The victim was identified by the Pueblo County Coroner’s Office as Robert Charles Taylor of Pueblo. – Andrew McMillan, KRDO

The details are still very slim thus far. I have reached out to the family, and spoken to his sister Mary. I am sharing the email she sent us:

Email from Roberts’ sister, Mary.

There are no words that I can say that can properly express the loss we all feel. Tattered Flag was one of our earlier volunteers. He worked so hard for this channel and to help others around him. Without fail, the comments I have received about Rob was that he was a kind and generous soul who would give you the shirt off his back.

A friend told me “The loss you feel when someone passes is equal to the impact, love, and positivity that person radiated.” I believe this is true. I wanted to share some of the comments I have received from others who have been touched by him, including one of my favorite messages from him:

He told a friend just on the 12th that he would be going out fishing with a friend. The first thing that came to my mind was the story of Jesus when he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their net, and said “Come & Follow Me, I will make you fishers of men.”

This is one of my favorite messages from Robert. He was always so supportive of Patriots’ Soapbox and the work we are doing here. It was so nice to hear that.

This is from Salty Crystal, one of her favorite conversations with Robert, where he discussed his Banjo and love of music.

Tattered Flag had a way of making people feel special.

He was helping out with the local Republican Party in Pueblo, and like Our Lord, he did construction and carpentry for a living.  He loved animals, and he loved to bake. He would make special items for his friends and family during the holidays. Before the shutdown, he would meet with the “old codgers club” there were about 4 or 5 of them. He would spend hours in discord helping people that were not very good with technology. I am reminded of some of the great wisdom from our Lord and the Bible.

Lord, let me know my end, and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is! Behold, Thou hast made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing in Thy sight. Surely every man stands as a mere breath! Surely man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nought are they in turmoil; man heaps up, and knows not who will gather! – Psalm 39, 4-6

There is none among us who will not one day die. Death is the great equalizer, no matter how rich or poor you are, how many material possessions you own. No one can escape it.

For more quotes on Death and Mourning by the Church fathers, see here.

Father Cassanius writes, in a blog post entitled “On the Remembrance of Death“:

We must remember that we are dust and to dust we shall return. Daily meditation on these realities have long been held up by the Desert Fathers as essential for the spiritual life and as a means of avoiding sin; but most of all as way of heeding the words of our Lord who warns us that we know neither the day nor the hour. Life is a gift, but we must not take it or our salvation lightly. Here is a reflection of one well formed in the wisdom and tradition of the Holy Fathers:

‘We should never lack the contemplation of death or other such meditations. All these contemplations create watchfulness in the soul and purity and cleanse the mind so that it may feel the contemplation better. This contemplation is a barrier for evil thoughts. When this spiritual contemplation is within us, we shut out evil thoughts … We should never at any time stop remembering death. The Holy Fathers said that they were not overcome by negligence in their cells, because they had the remembrance of death night and day. Negligence found no room in them. The Fathers kept thinking, ‘If today or tomorrow is my last day, what should I do?’ In this way, this remembrance kept their mind on the fear of God, and the fear of God gave light to their conscience regarding how to compel themselves.What will come more certainly than death? It is the most certain thing that every person will encounter. We ought to keep the remembrance of death alive within us constantly, so that through this most saving remembrance, we may avoid the soul’s death … Violently compel yourselves, says the Lord in the gospel, for you do not know when the Bridegroom of your soul will visit you, and woe to him whom He finds indolent and neglectful of his salvation. The truth of God sounds forth like a might trumpet and says, ‘Vanity of vanities; all is vanity!’ ‘For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? ‘Remember your end and you shall not sin unto the ages.’ ‘Riches do not remain, glory does not accompany one to the other world, for when death comes, all these things are obliterated.’ Behold the truth, which mightily crushes the lie!When we visit our final dwelling, our grave, we shall see with our own eyes all the vanity of man, as did Abba Sisoes when he saw the tomb of Alexander the Great and cried out, ‘Alas, alas, O death! The entire world was not big enough for you, Alexander. How then have you fit into two meters of earth now?’My child, be careful with this world which is like a theater. For poor and ignoble people on stage in the theater wear the clothes of kings, tycoons, etc. and appear to be different from what they really are and fool the audience. But when the show is over and they take off their masks, then their true faces are revealed.’ (Elder Ephraim – Counsels from the Holy Mountain) – Fr. Cassanius

Some other comments from members of our audience who were touched by Robert:

These comments reveal how many lives Robert touched, just here on PSB.

The Saint Paul Orthodox Church, in an article entitled “May A Christian Grieve?“:

Grief is a process of working out and living through some very painful feelings, coming to some tough decisions, and performing some difficult actions. But it must be done. Suppressing grief is tragic. When we drug or rationalize our feelings away, or cover our pain with a sugar coating or religious platitudes, we fail to face up to something that must be faced. Namely, someone we love has died and is now- gone from us. We are going to feel` the pain of their absence and we are going to miss their presence. Our life is going to be affected by their absence.

The funeral as we know it in our Orthodox Church is vitally important as a communal, supportive, spiritually comforting, patterned way of working through our grief. The hymnology points out a great deal of reality. The more elaborate and profound the funeral practices are, the more elaborate the burial traditions, the more care the Church gives to its ritual related to death, the more quickly and effectively grief is worked through. At a time when many churches mistakenly de-emphasize the funeral as a kind of morbid vestige from a pagan past, priests and therapists are increasingly noticing the therapeutic value of funerals for believers, coupled with other meaningful rituals that are related to the grief process.

In our Church we do not forget the departed soul, but continue to pray for it, entrusting it to the merciful care of God in the Divine Liturgies and anniversary services as we continue to celebrate its memory. The Saturdays of the Great Fast are dedicated to departed souls and commending the care of our beloved departed souls to God on a continuing basis has a sound grief resolution inherent in it. We remember them on their birthday, on the anniversary of their death, on the Fortieth day after they have been called to eternity. We even visit the cemetery and conduct commemorations there at the grave site. The theology of our blessed Church even teaches us the departed continue to participate with us in the glorification of our God. Our worship includes the souls of those who have seen called to their eternal reward. We do not feel the drastic separation in death that so many others are forced to endure. – St. Paul Church

Grieving is important, but it’s also important to have hope. Our brother in Christ is now in heaven with the Angels. We will meet again one day. Death is not the end, but simply a returning home from whence we came. For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Robert with his Baking.

He was in for the long haul.

Please feel free to post any comments or stories you would like to share in the comments section below. 

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Elaine Hall
Elaine Hall
22 days ago

It was a shock to hear the news today he was always so very kind to me in chat. He was very knowledgeable on subjects I always paid attention to his comments. God must have needed a special soldier to call him home God knew he would get the job done and be a great leader to everyone. I am… Read more »

Robyn Bohlen
22 days ago

Awwww I loved this Radix. I’ve been crying all day. It’s crazy…to have such a connection with someone you’ve never actually met, never seen, never actually spoken to yet they became such an important person in your life then to feel such loss. He was one of the people that would always reply to me in chat…usually asking me what… Read more »

Prayer Warrior
22 days ago

Tatteredflag shared this picture with me last year. I still have it. He was such a good friend to me. We talked Sunday night about his fishing trip the next day. He was excited. I have cried because my friend has gone, But I rejoice because I know I will see him again really soon! That ole Earth Suit has… Read more »