Dr. Raol J. Taft Sr., 82, of Cherokee Village, Ark., formerly of Staunton, Ill., died July 18, 2008, at Hospice House in Mountain Home, Ark. He was born April 16, 1926, in Edinburg, Ill., the son of the late Elwin E. Taft Sr. and the late Fay (Fancher) Taft. He married Marian J. Greear on June 25, 1945, in Williamsburg, Va.
Dr. Taft was a veterinarian. He studied pre-med at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Ill.; and graduated with a bachelor of science degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Ill., in 1952. H received his DVM degree from the University of Illinois in 1954. He began his veterinary practice in Staunton, Ill., in 1954; and later opened Taft Veterinary Clinic in 1970 in Sawyerville, Ill. He retired in 1988.
He was a member of Cherokee Village Bible Church in Cherokee Village, Ark.; a member of Staunton OES Chapter 616 and the Wilson Lodge 432 AF & AM.
He was a U.S. Navy veteran serving in World War II. He was a Signalman Third Class serving in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater on the USS Haywood and the USS Vanadis. He was involved in five invasions including Leyte Gulf and Iwo Jima.
He is survived by: his wife, Marian; one daughter, Terry Williams and her husband, Elliott of Wickenburg, Ariz.; one son, Raol J. Taft Jr. and his wife, Gail of State College, Pa.; three granddaughters, Stacey Rae Taft of Carbondale, Ill., and Nicole and Ashley Taft both of State College, Pa.; several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by: his parents; and one brother, Elwin E. Taft Jr.
A celebration of life was held July 21 at Cherokee Village Bible Church in Cherokee Village with Rev. Dr. Charles Hinze officiating. Burial was in the Rochester Cemetery in Rochester, Ill., on July 22 with military rites being conducted. Local arrangements were under the direction of Heath Funeral Home of Highland.
Memorials are designated to the National Kidney Foundation or Cherokee Village Bible Church.
Online guest book and information may be found at www. jacobywiseandlanders.com.