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Jeff Taylor

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Jeff Taylor, 31, of Kansas City, died Friday, June 3, 2011, as a result of injuries sustained while assisting in the rescue efforts in Joplin. He was born March 7, 1980, in Cameron, to Patricia (Steelman) Bestgen and Steve Taylor. Jeff graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1998 and attended Missouri Southern State University receiving his POST Certificate in 2001. On August 7, 1999, Jeff married his college sweetheart Kelly Hawkins in St. James. He began his law enforcement career in Webb City, then served on Platte County Sheriff Department, before his current post with Riverside Department of Public Safety where he held the positions of Firefighter, SWAT, Master Patrol Officer, K9 Officer, and Field Training Officer. Jeff was nominated and awarded Officer of the Year from Riverside DPS in 2008. Jeff loved to golf, coached his sons soccer team, played softball with his friends from Riverside DPS, and always put his family first. Survivors include his wife Kelly and sons, Caden and Cameron of Kansas City; parents, Steve and Rose Taylor of New Bloomfield; mother, Patricia Bestgen of Osborn; sister, Staci Roberts of Overland Park, Kan.; two brothers, Zach and Nick Bestgen of Osborn; grandparents, Gerald and Phyllis Taylor of Cameron, Ernest and Phyllis Denny of Maysville, Betty Jean Jacobsen of Roeland Park, Kan.; as well as many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. Jeff was preceded in death by his sister, Jodi Lynn Gitthens; a niece, Trinty Faith Roberts; and a grandfather, Jefferson Steelman. A Celebration of Life service is set for 11 a.m., Wednesday, June 8, 2011, at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, 1600 North 291 Hwy Liberty, MO 64068. A visitation will be from 9-11 a.m, Wednesday, at the church. Burial will be in the Graceland Memorial Cemetery, Cameron. Full police and fire honors will be given. Jeff continues to help others through his gift of organ donation. Memorials are suggested to the Taylor Benefit Account, K.C. Police Credit Union, 2800 East 14th Street Kansas City, MO 64127. Fond memories and condolences for the family may be left at www.dwnewcomers.com Arrangements are under direction of D.W. Newcomer's Sons Floral Hills Chapel, 816-353-1218.

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