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‘He was a huge fan’: Lifelong supporter in Mississippi buried in Chiefs-wrapped coffin


By Greg Dailey

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    KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KCTV) — There are Chiefs fans. And then there was Vernon Taylor.

The 66-year-old from Jackson, Mississippi, passed away on July 21 and was buried over the weekend. It was the family’s wish to have a Kansas City Chiefs sticker on his coffin when he was laid to rest, but Westhaven Memorial Funeral Home did one better.

Rob Jay, his younger brother, remembered Vernon as someone who always strove to give people a better life. Vernon was a counselor at Jim Hill High School, and he also lent his time to We Care Church as a counselor.

Jay recalled that giving spirit in his brother, especially in the way he would reach out to communities living in homelessness.

“He was the only guy in the family that went right to the homeless community to feed them, to clothe them,” Jay said. “He would ask us for extra clothes around the house just so he could take them to the homeless.”

Taylor had another passion besides his charitable side, though: the Kansas City Chiefs.

“Ah man, he was a huge fan of Len Dawson and Willie Lanier,” Jay shared with a laugh.

Rob Jay used to play football with his brother Vernon on an electric football set. He said his family had two teams for the set: the Chiefs and the Minnesota Vikings.

“He was always the Chiefs, and he beat me all the time,” Jay said of Vernon. So they both grew up Chiefs fans from playing that game, and Vernon collected Chiefs gear over time, even having a separate room in house dedicated to his fandom.

While he was never able to make it to Kansas City for a game, Vernon was able to see his favorite team play against the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome.

“Jamaal Charles went off that day,” Jay remembered.

And he was right: Charles went for 233 rushing yards, including a 91-yard touchdown run, carrying the Chiefs to a 27-24 win in overtime.

“He had a song about the Chiefs, I can still hear him singing,” Jay said. “Watch that defense: Lanier, Lynch…he would name them all — Buchanan, Albert Lewis.”

Vernon Taylor died at the age of 66. “His lungs just gave out,” Jay said. But his spirit and passion for the Chiefs remains.

Jay’s wife had thought it would be a touching tribute to place a Chiefs sticker on Vernon’s coffin. The Westhaven funeral home said they could do one better, and they wrapped it.

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