Memorialize Mary Taylor while helping to protect wildlife and wild places.
We have set up a place for all who would like to help us memorialize our mother. She had a very fulfilling life and stated that having a family with great kids brought her all the joy she could have wanted. We have great memories of her reading to us, playing cards with us kids and our friends, and teaching us how to bake family bread recipes and cookies at Christmas. But we would be remiss if we didn’t share with you a few more qualities our mother possessed that made her special.
Mary and Lester met when they were both in their teens. Shortly after attending Pacific Beach High School’s prom at the Hotel del Coronado, they got married and started a family. Mary focused on being a wife and mother while her children were young but eventually decided to get a part-time job as a food service worker for Poway Unified School District. She quickly moved up the ranks in the kitchen. Upon retirement, she was an area supervisor. Toward the end of their 55-year marriage, Mary and Lester lived out their dreams of owning horse property in North County San Diego.
Mary completed her high school degree once the last of her three children started elementary school. And, though that high school GED was the limits to her formal education, she was a prolific reader and lover of knowledge which made her hard to compete with when watching Jeopardy!
Aside from baking, Mary was also a skilled artisan in the home. She threw and crafted ceramics that sold well. Growing up, we kids all wore clothes she sewed. All of Lester’s collard work shirts were made by her. Additionally, she crocheted and knitted afghans, sweaters, and socks. We never had store-bought costumes at Halloween. Mom made them so they were unique and custom to order! She was so naturally skilled at costuming, she volunteered at the local community theater for many years creating costumes and wigs. She did all of this without formal training.
Everyone who grew up during the ‘70s probably has stories of their moms giving them a perm. We Taylor girls also have those stories… cringe. But, our mom, who regularly cut her own hair (she wore it short, so more than just an end trim), assisted us kids as we went through our crazy teen years. She cut asymmetrical bobs, Flock of Seagull wings, and mohawks. She assisted us in dying and bleaching our hair, plucking eyebrows, and Aquaneting liberty spikes and mohawks all the while reminding us that ours was not the first generation to rebel.
She was warm and supportive to all around her. She took in the strays be that cat, dog, snake, tortoise, or human. Our home was always open. Many of our friends lived with us when they had nowhere else to go. Her warmth and support extended even more towards animals. In her lifetime she rescued tortoises, cats, parrots and other birds, horses, and of course dogs. We grew up with pet cats, dogs, rats, snakes, spiders, lizards, guinea pigs, ducks, goats, tortoises, and rabbits. She even raised duroc pigs. One in our house. It had an umbilical herniation. Of course, it came home with us!
This leads us to the reason we have chosen the World Wildlife Fund. Mary was an animal person. She donated to many animal-related foundations including the Humane Society, Paws for Vets, and the International Elephant Foundation (to name a few). We kids decided to provide anyone who wanted to reach out in support of us and/or in memory of mom a place to donate that can make a difference in a way mom would approve. The World Wildlife Fund works to “conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.” Their work extends to food, water, climate, habitat, and wildlife. We invite you to make a donation here and take part in making the natural world a better place that will benefit all.
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About World Wildlife Fund
For more than 50 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. The world's leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. Your donation to this Panda Nation page supports WWF's global conservation work.