A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered.
Hattie Mae Taylor was the fifth of 14 children born to Will and Rosa Mathis on March 9th 1938 in Thomasville, GA. Her childhood education began at Douglas Elementary School and she later attended and graduated from Douglas High School. She was an avid student, soaking up everything she could learn. Being adventurous, she later moved to Brooklyn, NY paving the way for several of her siblings to follow and find their fortunes outside of their hometown.
Brooklyn was good to her. Soon after moving here, she met and married Theophilus Taylor and from this union was born LaShawn, who passed as a child, and Darrin O’Neil. She also became stepmother to Naomi, Glen, Bobby, Curtis and Deborah.
An amazing, selfless, caring person, with a passion for helping people, Hattie in 1973 began working at Coler Memorial Hospital as a nurses aide. Concurrently she attended Medgar Evers School of Nursing full-time, from which she graduated as a registered nurse in 1976. After graduation and passing the state boards, she remained on staff at the same institution, working now as a registered nurse in the geriatric unit where she advanced to head nurse and ran the unit until her retirement in 1999.
Hattie was a member of the New Caanan Baptist Church for more than 50 years and believed in making a difference and in giving back. She approached her church with the same fierce work ethics as in her private life, holding various and sundry positions. Her numerous activities and accomplishments included being Director of the Culinary Committee and an officer in the Lay Women’s Club. She actively participated in the Anniversary and Women’s Day committee while also volunteering with the Girl Scouts of America. She also worked intermittently in the 1970’s with Reverend Havenwaler as the afterschool director at the Tabernacle Church of God Daycare Center.
Following her retirement, she continued with her passion for helping others by volunteering at the Dianah Jones Senior Center, Antioch Baptist Church and Maria Lawton Senior Center teaching arts and crafts. Her hard work, perseverance, and dedication to her family, friends, community and church made her the special person she was.
Despite the natural declining factors of age, health, and physique which led to several hospitalizations over the years, Hattie never lost faith and remained noble, self-sacrificing, and generous. A true stalwart in every way, she constantly sought to enhance and improve her community and at the time of her untimely passing was working on a health seminar and the Black History month program for New Caanan. The vicissitudes of aging never affected her sense of humor, gentle spirit or youthful sparkle. She was special and treated everyone as such.
Hattie Mae Taylor was a gift! A very extraordinary gift from God. She leaves many who will cherish her memory as they mourn her irreparable loss: Her devoted son Darrin Taylor (Dana); precious granddaughter Dylan Olyvia Taylor (11); stepdaughters and stepson Naomi Taylor, Deborah Taylor and Robert “Bobby” Taylor; step-grandchildren Venita Taylor and Gary Taylor; sisters Rosa Rhodes, Hester Shaw, Fannie Rhodes, Betty Campbell; brother Winfred Byron; nieces Alzen Whitten, Autumn Campbell, Ashley Campbell; nephew George Campbell; grandniece and grandnephew Addiysen Whitten and Ashton Whitten, as well as a long list of other nieces, nephews, grandnieces/ grandnephews and many other relatives, friends, church family and people whose lives she has touched.
Death may end a life but it will never end the love. And so we say mom, grandma, Aunt Hattie, Mother Taylor, Sister Hattie, Ms. Taylor it won’t be very long ‘til the morning…
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