Taylor, who died Friday night on the Caltrain tracks in Palo Alto, was a 2008 graduate of Gunn High School. He had been a varsity wrestler and tennis player, the service chair for the Gunn student body and a homecoming prince in his senior year. He had been an Eagle Scout and received a gold President's Volunteer Service Award for giving more than 250 hours of service within a year's time. (See obituary on page 13 for more on Taylor.)
His family believes his death was caused by his mental illness, according to a website they posted this week. Taylor had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, they said.
"The first unrecognized symptoms of Brian's illness were repetitive, looping thoughts during his sophomore year in high school," the family said. "School became increasingly difficult, and some relationships were more strained as he had initial symptoms of a mood disorder."
He began his freshman year at Brigham Young University in fall 2008. However, his escalating illness led him to return home after several months.
For the past year, the family has lived on a 240-acre cattle ranch in Granite Bay, Calif. Taylor worked at a sandwich shop there and attended Sierra College. During the last two months, he was receiving care at UCLA and Stanford medical centers.
"We rely on our faith, which assures that Brian is with loved ones and a caring God while we wait to see our treasured son again in the next life," the Taylors wrote.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that charitable donations be made to The Brian Bennion Taylor Legacy Fund. Contributions are tax-deductible and will fund research on schizophrenia as well as provide mental health support for those in need.
Contributions can be made by check, payable to Deseret Trust Company, for The Brian Bennion Taylor Legacy Fund and mailed to: Deseret Trust Company, P.O. Box 11558, Salt Lake City, UT 84147-0558.
Information on making contributions in the form of stocks, bonds or mutual funds can be found at www.BrianBennionTaylor.com.
An interment service will take place next Wednesday in Provo, Utah.