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Zionsville man whose sculptures gave decades of joy to passersby dies at 95

Video with this story aired July 22, 2022, on WISH-TV.

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A man who brought joy to passing motorists with his sculptures in his yard has died.

Ernie Taylor died Sept. 16 at age 95. His funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Strawmyer & Drury Mortuary, 2400 N. Lebanon St., Lebanon.

His obituary in the Hamilton County Reporter said, “He was an artist with metal, and many of his works are permanently displayed along State Road 32 if you know where to look.”

News 8’s Cody Adams featured Taylor in a story in July 2022.

Ernie had said his late wife, Dot, didn’t really like to travel much, which left him a lot of time, which he turned into his works of art. “I started out just making birds out of shovels, made an alligator out of files, just various things. There wasn’t no big plan to it, just did a few things and here it is.”

He created hundreds of sculptures he welded out of anything he could find, including what some people called junk. His hobby took over his 25 acres.

His creations put a smile on the face of his wife, who died in August 2019. “She liked it. I’d go in there and say, ‘You know, what’s a butterfly looks like?’ And she’d say, ‘Well, yeah,’ and I’d say, ‘Well, draw me up something,’ and she would do that and I’d make it.”

Taylor told News 8 he cherished the people who stopped by over the years. “There’s a miracle called friendship that dwells within the heart, and you don’t know how it happens and how it gets its start, but the happiness it brings you gives you a special lift, and you realize the happiness it gives you is God’s most precious gift.”

The sibling of a sister and four brothers who preceded him in death, Taylor is survived by a son and his wife in Virginia, as well as three grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren.

Ernie will be laid to rest at Rosston Cemetery in Zionsville. The funeral home’s website allows people to sign the guestbook and send sympathy cards.