Kelly Edward Taggart

Centertown, MO

1932 - 2014

Rear Admiral Kelly Edward Taggart, 81, of Centertown, MO passed away on May 7, 2014 surrounded by family. Kelly’s death came after several years of living with the effects of Alzheimers.
Kelly was born on December 17, 1932 in Cairo, IL. The son of Curtis A. and Bernice (Garnett) Taggart who both of preceded him in death.
Kelly was married on June 4, 1960 to Jenice (Haldiman) Taggart who survives at the home.
He attended Centertown High School and graduated from Jefferson City High School. He also attended Jefferson City Junior College and continued his education at the University of Missouri where he completed his B.S. in Civil Engineering. He later received his Master’s Degree from School of Public Affair and Institute of Marine Affairs at the University of Washington.
Upon graduation from the University of Missouri, Kelly joined the Coast and Geodetic Survey predecessor of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where he embarked upon a career of surveying, charting and geophysical research.
Kelly served seven years aboard five survey vessels, as well as nine years in full flying status, flying both Rotary and Fixed wing aircraft on mapping missions.
At sea, he co-directed geophysical plate tectonic studies connecting the crustal plates of North America, Pacific Ocean and Asia. He conducted geophysical surveys in the Gulf of Mexico, identifying under water salt domes for stocking oil reserves. While Kelly served as commander of the NOAA research ship Oceanographer, he conducted research studies in the Tropical Pacific of the physical, biological and benthic region to determine the biological productivity and potential damage to the area from Deep Ocean Mining of Manganese Nodules.
Kelly was the recipient of the Department of Commerce Silver Metal, Karo Award of Society of Military Engineers, Distinguished Engineer from the University of Missouri and many others too numerous to mention. Kelly also served on Capitol Hill in the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs. In 1980 he was appointed Director of the Commissioned Corps of NOAA and also directed the National Ocean Survey Service. Kelly retired in 1986 after thirty-two years of service.
All children and especially his two granddaughters were the love of his life. Music played an important part of his life. Kelly especially looked forward to musical performances at the Historical Finke Theater in California, MO.
Survivors include his wife Jenice of 53 years of the home, two daughters, Suzanne Taggart (Greg Baer) of California, MO, Ellen Hammack (Albert) Frederick, MD, one son, Captain Brian Taggart (NOAA Retired) (Dr. Kara) Boise ID, two granddaughters, Emma Baer and Kelsey Hammack, three brothers, Curtis A.Taggart (Frances) Jefferson City, MO., John D. Taggart (Harlan) Gardner, KS., Keith L Taggart (Jan) Lebanon, MO, three nephews and six nieces.
Kelly was preceded in death by one brother, Ronald Taggart.
Funeral services were held on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at the St. Paul’s Evangelical Church in Jamestown, MO. Officiating was Rev. Brian Bish. Interment was at St. Paul’s Evangelical Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to the Historical Finke Theatre or Evangelical Cemetery c/o the funeral home. Arrangements were under the direction of Bowlin-Cantriel Funeral Services, California, MO.

Obituary Condolences

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Please review our Policies and Procedures before registering or commenting

California Democrat - Obituary Condolences