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Obituary: Andrew Mill Taff, Madison

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Andrew Miller Taff, who died May  10, 2014, at Silver Oaks Health Campus, was born August 1, 1923, in Madison, Indiana, the youngest son of Andrew Martin Taff and Cleone Atlanta McKay Taff. His father was Jefferson County Sheriff and later a U.S. Deputy Marshall. His sister was Mary Helen Taff Christman and his brother, Franklin Taff.

He attended Eggleston Elementary and was a 1943 graduate of Madison High School where he was a four-year letterman for Coach Ray Eddy's first great Madison teams, 1940 through 1943. The Cubs went 97-17 in those years, winning three regionals and a semi-state in 1941. Andy was a second-team All-State as a sophomore and as a senior his 15 ppg average and high game of 37 points were school records. He worked at Knobel’s Clothing Store. After high school, Andy served in the United States Marines from 1943 to 1945 and was crew chief for the F4U Corsair on the U.S.S. Essex in the Pacific. He achieved the rank of staff sergeant. After the war, he played four years at Hanover College. "Juice," as he was known, averaged 17.7 in 94 career games with a high of 46 and an average of 24 as a senior, graduating in 1950. He was twice named Most Valuable Player in the 1948 and 1950 seasons.

After graduating college, he taught physical education and driver’s education as well as coached varsity basketball 15 years at Tell City, Paoli, Knightstown, Michigantown (Clinton Central) and Clinton, Indiana. In 1993, he was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. Andy maintained a lifelong relationship with many of his ball players. In 1964, he moved the family to Rushville where he taught middle school and coached middle school football. He later became assistant principal and golf coach at Rushville Consolidated High School. Andy retired from teaching in 1989 and moved to Columbus, IN, in 2010.

He was a member of the Methodist Church as well as Rushville Kiwanis Club, the Masonic Lodge and Indiana Retired Teachers Association. One of his many hobbies was woodworking, making simple furniture and toys for the grandchildren. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed a good joke and telling stories. He loved to make people laugh.

On August 11, 1950, he married Wanda M. Trinkle of Hardinsburg, IN, who passed away on August 1, 1999. Wanda and Andy had twins, Eddy Ray and daughter Debby Kay (Tom) Brown of Indianapolis, and another daughter, Candace (John) Carr of Columbus. Andy was proud of all seven grandchildren: Marty (Lauren) Brown, Casey Brown, Abby Brown, Maggie Brown, Luke Carr, Andy Carr and Ike Brown. He enjoyed the antics of his great-grandson, Kevin Hart. Andy’s devoted companion of fifteen years was Nancy O’Dell of Shelbyville. He has two nephews in Madison, Frank and Paige Taff, and a niece, Harriet Christman Hoffman; and two sisters-in-law, George Anne (Don) Fisher of Madison and Shirley (Jerry) Slatin of Lexington, KY.

Andy was preceded in death by parents, wife and son, Eddy Ray.

Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00  p.m. Wednesday, May 14, 2014, at Woodlawn-Vail Funeral Chapel at 117 Holt Drive in Madison. Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 15, at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Springdale Cemetery in Madison with full military rites.

Memorials can be made to Historic Madison, Hanover College or Hospice of South Central Indiana.

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