Helen Maxine Taylor, beloved of her family, surrounded by love, passed peacefully into the arms of her Lord on July 10th 2017. Born on November 16, 1935 in the heart of Appalachia, in the small mountain community of Tellico Plains, Tennessee, she was the child of Walter Baxter and Reba Stamey Collins. As eldest of several siblings, Helen quickly developed a sense of responsibility and protectiveness. At the tender age of six, while living in Middlesboro, Kentucky, she witnessed the tragic murder of her father. Displaying a maturity well beyond her years, she was the first to step forward, fulfilling the custom of that time, to place a hand full of dirt onto his casket. Afterwards, her family returned to Tellico Plains but her childhood was significantly altered. Helen said the days were so hard and sad that she would often take her little sisters to walk with her. They would follow the railroad tracks and mountain roads, playing along the way, sometimes stopping in to see neighbors and often coming home at dark. When she was 15, Helen married John D. Taylor, whom she often described as her soul mate. Their union was blessed with five children whom she loved deeply and forever. Helen was widowed at age 49. Although she received marriage proposals she choose to remain wife to only her soul mate. She suffered greatly from the loss of her daughter, Nancy in 2012 and her son, John Jr. one year later. She often credited her great grandchildren with helping her survive this sorrow. Education was important to Helen. As an adult, she worked diligently for two years to obtain her High School Diploma earning high marks for her efforts. She was employed in various occupations throughout her life and while employed by Winn Dixie as a cashier, she was voted customer favorite numerous times. She was co-owner of Taylor’s Fill Dirt from 1972 to 1986 serving as company secretary and bookkeeper. In her golden years she was a private caretaker for elderly persons and deeply cared for those individuals she served. Helen enjoyed people. She could and would talk to anyone. She enjoyed card games, jigsaw and word search puzzles. She loved to dance to country music. She was a huge fan of the television shows Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Heat of the Night and Law and Order. She loved football, especially the Tampa Bay Buccaneers! She loved good cosmetics and hated cheap perfume. Helen loved her family beyond description, but most of all, she loved her Lord Jesus Christ. She was our spiritual leader and we depended on her prayers. She was the head of our family dinners, blessing the food and us and giving thanks to the Lord for all. She was our counselor and willing ear and she loved giving us the wisdom of her years. She had the most forgiving heart of anyone we have ever known.
Left behind but not without her love and cherished memories are her children: Ronald (Sandra) Taylor, Danny (Rose) Taylor and David (Lomell) Taylor; daughter-in-law: Margarita Taylor; she was beloved mamaw to: Tina Davis, Scott (Tracy) Lane, Adam Taylor, Brandie Taylor, Daniel (Jennifer) Taylor, Shane Taylor, Jessica (Daniel) Gay, Jonathan (Doreen) Taylor, Beth (Bobby) Davis, Mallory (Christopher) Taylor Ramsey and Jason Tennant; Helen loved babies and was delighted as each of these great grandchildren were born: Matthew Davis, Joshua Davis, Robert Lane, Kristin Davis, Megan Lane, Brianna Taylor, Hannah Taylor, Avery Taylor, John T. McGillicuddy, Ryleigh Ramsey, Taylor Ramsey, Noah Ramsey, Michael Taylor, Ryan Jade Gay, Madisyn Taylor, Kalynn Taylor, and baby Tennant. In addition. Helen is survived by brothers: Frank, Johnny and Terry Tallent and sisters: Joanne and Marie; sister-in-law: Ann Lowe; numerous nieces and nephews; also, her constant canine companion, Benji, whom she called “momma's little boy.”
Helen will be deeply missed, but to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. We take comfort in knowing that there is a joyous reunion in Heaven within the family circle.
Visitation for friends will be 11:00am-12:00pm, Saturday, July 15, 2017 at the Merritt Funeral Home, Brooksville Chapel, where funeral services will begin at 12:00pm noon, with Elder Clinton Harmon officiating. Burial will follow at Brooksville Cemetery.