From Texas to West Seattle over the span of 95 years, Mary Annie Belle Taylor lived a good life, as shared by her family in this remembrance:
Mary Annie Belle Taylor
May 17, 1919 – December 3, 2014
Mary Annie Belle Taylor was born on her family’s ranch in Brookshire, TX on May 17, 1919. The youngest of six siblings, she loved ranch life, especially riding horses. She began documenting her family in photographs with a Brownie camera she received for her fourth birthday. Her collection of photographs documenting three generations of the Hughes family is part of the Smithsonian Institution’s collection of Americana.
Ms. Taylor moved to Los Angeles, CA in the 1950s and married the love of her life, Morris Taylor. She was among the first African Americans to attend culinary school, and became a chef and nutritionist in the 1960s. She managed a hospital kitchen until she retired in the late 1970s. Though childless herself, she served as favorite aunt to many nieces and nephews as well as neighborhood children, many of whom learned to cook in her kitchen.
Post-retirement, she moved to Silver Spring, MD, to be closer to family. A believer in action over words, Ms. Taylor worked with her local church to start a food program for elderly people living in her senior retirement community. Well into her late 80s, she used her beautiful tenor voice to telephone her “old folks,” read to them from the Bible, and sing to them.
In 2005 Ms. Taylor moved to West Seattle. Though health kept her from being an active member, she joined First AME Church in Seattle. In her final years, she was cared for by the wonderful staff at Providence ElderPlace to whom the family extends deep gratitude for their kindness, gentleness, and respect.
Ms. Taylor died peacefully the morning of Wednesday, December 3, 2014 after a long illness. Predeceased by her husband and all of her siblings, she is survived by loving nieces, nephews, and extended family throughout the country.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)