Jeff Taylor and Daughter Bayden, Beloved by Family and Friends

The 2003 family Christmas photo of the Taylor family: parents Colette and Jeff, children Bayden and Preston.
The 2003 family Christmas photo of the Taylor family: parents Colette and Jeff, children Bayden and Preston.

Jeff Taylor, 36, and his 2-1/2-year-old daughter Bayden, who died Monday are remembered as usually special people by a close family friend, Phil Pecsok. “Bayden was a wonderful little girl, a sweetheart who everybody loved,” said Pecsok, a Palisades resident who has two young children of his own. “She had a great disposition, and she enjoyed telling people that her mom was her best friend.” “Jeff was my best friend, absolutely-ever since we were boys playing baseball together at the park,” Pecsok continued. “I was the best man in his wedding 10 years ago in Coronado, and he worked for my company [NAXCOM] up until a few months ago. “Everyone loved him. He was charismatic, extremely bright, just a wonderful husband and a great dad. He also had a great sense of humor. Every time we got together, I laughed so hard my face hurt.” Almost 30 years later, Pecsok can still recall that Taylor was the first 8-year-old selected in the annual draft of new players by the Pacific Palisades Baseball Association. Pecsok was drafted by the same organization (the Phillies), in the third round. “Jeff was a big strong kid and a great athlete. He was our catcher and we played on the same teams for five years. At Palisades High, he was a catcher and outfielder and in his senior year they played at Dodger Stadium in the City finals. He then played at West L.A. College and the scouts said he had the best arm on the West Coast.” But after Taylor transferred to San Diego State, he gave up baseball and went on to graduate with a major in criminology. Taylor, whose parents bought a home on Via de la Paz in 1964, attended Palisades Elementary, Village School (for a year), Paul Revere and PaliHi, graduating in 1985. Along the way, he received his Eagle Scout rank in Troop 223 in July 1982. In September 1994, Taylor married Colette Cooley of San Diego, and about three years ago they moved back to his family home in the Palisades. Colette is finance director for the Western Los Angeles County Council, Boy Scouts of America. He came VP of business development at NAXCOM, while also directing the customer service department and day-to-day operations. In addition, he oversaw all Web-site enhancements and upgrades. Pecsok was a co-founder of NAXCOM (the National Automated Exchange Collectibles On-line Marketplace), a Century City-based company that offers sports cards and sports autograph memorabilia. Pecsok said Taylor was a loyal and thoughtful friend. “When it came to giving people gifts, he made a great effort to find something that was meaningful, something you could use or wanted. He loved making people feel good. On my last birthday, he gave me a bag with 10 items-gag gifts, yet each one had a story behind it. The amount of time and creativity that represented, most people just don’t do that.” In addition to his wife and his 4-1/2-year-old son Preston, Taylor is survived by his mother, Ann Taylor of Pacific Palisades and Cabo San Lucas; his sister, Cheryl Higgins of Washington, D.C.; two brothers, Bob Taylor of Fallbrook and Tim Taylor of Aspen. Bayden Taylor is also survived by her grandparents, Ken and Carol Cooley of San Diego, and great-grandmother Sally Cooley. Services will be held Friday, March 5 at 2 p.m. in the Methodist Church, 801 Via de la Paz. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations can be made to the Boy Scouts of America Western Los Angeles County Council or the Preston Tiger Taylor Education Fund, P.O. Box 1195, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272.