Born in Kitchener on August 18, 1933, to immigrant Mennonite parents, Mom was an only child raised by a spirited mother who instilled a sense of adventure, independence and a love of family. At 17, Mom headed to Toronto to pursue nursing at St. Michael's Hospital and launched on a path of caring service in hospital and private settings, then as director of Ontario Crippled Children's Camps.
There she met the love of her life, Dr. John Taylor. They married in 1963 and moved to Puerto Rico where Dad worked for two years at a hospital in Castañer. John (Barb) and Melinda (Tim Lawson) were born there, then Sara following their return to Toronto. We dubbed Mom "the mayor of Lawrence Park" as she seemed to know everyone and everything happening near our home on Dawlish Avenue for 42 years.
She especially enjoyed her involvement with Group B at Lawrence Park Community Church, and as a volunteer in our schools and Sunnybrook Hospital. Mom loved to walk the nearby ravines with her furry companions. Wearing her signature red lipstick, Mom's warm smile and sparkling blue eyes greeted everyone equally, friend or stranger, and she always took time to listen, help or share a kind word.
Mom loved the CBC, biographies, Jeopardy, chocolate ice cream, the National Ballet, to sing and play piano. She loved planning fabulous trips, college football, New York City, word puzzles, fixing any appliance and sewing our formal dresses. Most of all, Mom loved time with her family. She found immense joy in her role as Grammy to Claire, Paige and Hope Lawson and Syd, Cam and Liv Taylor. Grammy was number one fan at their sports events and dance performances, host of backyard pool parties and proud of their many accomplishments.
When Dad died in 1999, Mom handled the loss with a quiet grace and fortitude that was admirable. In recent years, Alzheimer's diminished parts of the Mom we knew but she retained her memory of family, lyrics to old favourite songs, and her inner essence as a strong, resilient woman. We are grateful to her many caregivers who ensured she was safe, healthy and happy. Mom was our role model, inspiration and simply the best. On December 24, 2022, Mom left this world surrounded by love. She lived a wonderful life and we will miss her in ours.
If you wish to make a donation in Mom's memory, please consider Amici Camping Charity - amicicharity.org. As a young family we enjoyed summers at Kilcoo while Dad was camp doctor. There we learned that the simple pleasures of singalongs, swimming, sunshine and time spent together are life's great treasures. As she wished, there will be no service and cremation has taken place. In Mom's honour, enjoy a Hershey's Kiss, hug like you mean it, and part ways with a heartfelt "Love you lots".