A Sad Farewell to Jack Taylor


May 03

A Sad Farewell to Jack Taylor

Jack Taylor, the founder of Austin House, passed away on April 18th after a long illness.

In 1973, Jack and his wife, Sandra, took a leave of absence from their positions at a local high school to travel to 27 countries across Europe in a VW camper van with their three young children. During this time, Jack discovered an unmet need for travel accessories and when they returned in 1974, founded Austin House. He declined his acceptance to law school, instead choosing to publish a mini guide called Travel Tips to Europe, which was soon followed by travel-related products such as money belts, luggage locks and straps.

Jack is credited with being the father of the travel accessory business, a multi-million dollar industry that grew out of his basement. Jack had an innate ability to identify new products and provide savvy marketing advice to retailers. He is best known for doing things his way, an uncompromising “take it or leave it” attitude that ultimately earned the respect of suppliers and retailers alike.

Jack was a life-long lover of travel, golf and hockey, having played hockey in university at Hamilton College in New York and Waterloo College (now the University of Laurier in Waterloo, ON Canada). He traveled to Europe and the Far East many times and was particularly fond of the Swiss Alps. In 2000, Jack sold Austin House to Atlantic Luggage but not content to retire, he opened Five Putts golf store, which kept him busy until it was time to retire for good in 2008. Jack spent his retirement playing golf and traveling with Sandra. He leaves his wife of 57 years, Sandra and three children, Sidney (Brad), Stuart (Kara) and Shelby along with six grandchildren. A memorial service is planned for June 24 at Kopriva Taylor Community Funeral Home in Oakville, Ontario Canada.

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