My mother has some amazing friends. Chris and Harvey were two of them. Harvey was what I would call a Renaissance man. You name it, he could do it. Intelligent, artistic, sweet, funny. He videotaped my parents' wedding (in 1970!!). The blog where he wrote chronicling his goodbyes to life was one of the most heart-wrenching yet kind and loving things I have ever encountered- I know it helped my mother prepare to lose him. On his memorial page one of the things I said was that I will ALWAYS drink Coke.
HARVEY CARTER TAYLOR III, 61, of Atlanta, Ga., and Longboat Key, Fla., died at his home in Atlanta on April 8, 2005, surrounded by his wife, Chris Fonte Taylor, their son, Scott, daughter and son-in-law, Christy and Randy Holmes and their two grandchildren, Franklin and Lily Holmes, all of Atlanta.
He was a member of St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, Dunwoody, Ga. Born March 20, 1944, in Huntington, W.Va., to the late Harvey C. Taylor Jr. and Dorothy Frantz Taylor, he is survived by his sister, Carter Taylor Seaton; her husband, Richard Cobb; and two aunts, Nancy and Elinore Taylor of Huntington. Also surviving to mourn his passing and remember him fondly are his brother-in-law, Jim Seaton and nephew Jimmy of Longboat Key; nephews, Tony and Michael Seaton; and niece Dorothy Ann Stinson of Huntington; mother-in-law, Filomena T. Fonte of Danville, Ill.; brothers and sisters-in-law, Michael and Berta Fonte of Silver Springs, Md., and Joseph and Kay Fonte of Carmel, Ind., Mary Ann and Gale Galloway of Danville, Agnes and Kent Burgess of Comfort, Texas, Joan and Dannie Smith of Union, Ky., and Fran and Rick Strebing of Bloomington, Ill.; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, colleagues, classmates and lifelong friend, Dr. Dan Bobbitt of Concord, N.C. His grandparents, Harvey and Nan Taylor and Lester N. and Florence Frantz and his father-in-law, Frank A. Fonte, preceded him in death.
Harvey graduated from Huntington High School in 1962, earned his BS, cum laude, and his MS in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1967 and 1969, respectively. Following the completion of his master’s degree, he joined the Coca-Cola Company, where he spent his entire career, retiring in 1999.
During his almost 30-year career, Harvey rose from project engineer to Director of Engineering for Coca-Cola. Among his many accomplishments, his group designed and brought to market the world’s first plastic bottle for soft drinks. During this period, the corporate structure was reorganized and Harvey became one of only three Group Managers. Under his direction, the group developed the first plastic screw cap ever used on soft drink bottles, worked on plastic recycling and spread the use of the domestic designs in both glass and plastic to the overseas market. In 1981, Harvey took a five-year assignment in Sydney, Australia, as the Technical Manager for the South Pacific responsible for product and package development, Coca-Cola concentrate development and quality assurance in Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and Fiji. During his tenure there, his group developed plastic packaging and introduced Diet Coke and other new product extensions to the South Pacific. From 1986-1989, he held the position of Director of Corporate Packaging in the United States. In 1989, another special assignment took him to Tokyo, Japan, where he was the Vice President of Coca-Cola Japan Company in charge of Special Projects.
Returning to the United States in late 1990, he was named Director of Engineering for the Coca-Cola Company. His department was responsible for all development of new technology, vending equipment technology, packaging, bottling equipment and service to the bottlers. In this capacity, Harvey made several trips to Moscow to monitor the launch of the Progress M space freighter carrying supplies to the Soviet space station Mir. On board were two specially designed cans of Coke to be tested to see if it carbonated beverages could be poured in weightlessness. Before retiring, Harvey was Director of Strategic Development under Senior Vice President of Technical Operations. He was responsible for budgetary control of the division and for development of the annual five-year business plan for the corporate technical division. He retired April 1, 1999.
A self-taught musician, Harvey played the guitar and piano. Over the years, travel and scuba diving occupied his leisure time and took his family to Kenya, the Greek Islands, Turkey, Japan, Austria, Germany, Tahiti, Fiji, England, Italy, Hong Kong, the Soviet Union, the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Costa Rico, Hawaii and the Turks and Caicos Islands. An early computer “tekkie” he developed a web-site for his Huntington High School Class of 1962 that brought together classmates around the world. As he fought a year-long battle against cancer, his son Scott set up an Internet Blog through which his family, friends and classmates followed his progress and offered encouragement. The family wishes to thank all those who supported Harvey and his family throughout this past year. Memorial services will be held at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, Mt. Vernon Rd., Dunwoody, Ga., Thursday, April 14, at 10:30 a.m. and at Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church, Norway Ave. and Green Oak Dr. in Huntington on Saturday, April 30. Graveside services following the memorial will be held in Spring Hill Cemetery, Huntington. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Odyssey Hospice, 1140 Hammond Drive, Suite B-2100, Dunwoody, GA 30338; St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, Building Fund, 1978 Mount Vernon Rd., Dunwoody, GA 30338; or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Harvey Taylor, 61, chief Coke packager
When it came to bottling soft drinks, Harvey Taylor was a wizard. During a 29-year career at Cola-Cola Co., the forward-looking engineer and executive helped develop and market the first plastic soft drink container and to create a can that enabled Russian cosmonauts to drink Coca-Cola in space. “
Harvey was the foremost packaging expert at the company in bottles, both plastic and glass,” said Andy Harvill of Sapphire, N.C., a retired Coke engineer and executive. “He was very involved in almost all the packaging innovations from the mid-1970s to the late 1980s.” Those include the plastic screw cap for soft drinks and plastic recycling technology.
Harvey Carter Taylor III, 61, died at his Dunwoody residence Friday of neck cancer. The body was cremated. The memorial service is 10:30 a.m. today at St. Luke's Presbyterian Church. Cremation Society of the South is in charge of arrangements.
The West Virginia native joined Coke in 1970, after earning a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech. Early in his career, he helped design and test a 64-ounce contoured returnable glass bottle. “We called it the frog bottle,” said Mr. Taylor's executive assistant, Pam Windom-Yawn of Valdosta. “If it broke, it shattered like a windshield, holding the fragments together.”
By 1973 Mr. Taylor had been promoted to management and “started working on the 2-liter plastic bottles that you have now,” Mrs. Windom-Yawn said. “We did all the specifications, testing and design and took the concept into market. There were no plastic bottles for soft drinks before then.” For the Latin American and European markets, Mr. Taylor helped develop machinery for inspecting returnable plastic bottles, testing the returned bottles for toxicity. “That technology didn't exist before Harvey led the whole process,” Mr. Harvill said. “It became very successful.”
The 1980s took Mr. Taylor to Australia --- where he was responsible for product and package development in the South Pacific and introduced Diet Coke to the region --- and to Japan, where he cut through red tape to get packaging costs down, Mr. Harvill said. Mr. Taylor returned to Atlanta in 1990 as director of engineering. He supervised one of Coke's first think tanks for future technology, Mrs. Windom-Yawn said.
Mr. Taylor's final job at Coke was as director of strategic development. He took early retirement in 1999 to go scuba diving and butterfly hunting, make stained-glass windows, create sophisticated videos, track his family genealogy back to President Zachary Taylor, and play guitar by ear at family and neighborhood events.
In 1997 --- five years in advance --- Mr. Taylor began choreographing his 40th high school reunion in Huntington, W.Va. He tracked down lost classmates, booked the band and created CDs of favorite music of the era. More than half of the 350 class members showed up for the Class of 1962 event. “It was the mother of all reunions,” said his high school classmate Linda Hodges of Lilburn.
Survivors include his wife, Chris Fonte Taylor; a son, Scott Taylor of Dunwoody; a daughter, Christy Holmes of Atlanta; a sister, Carter Taylor Seaton of Huntington; and two grandchildren.