Greensburg secretary Marjorie Taylor loved writing, painting
Before their daughter could even open her eyes and utter her first cry, Marjorie Taylor’s parents hung her out the window of their home and the attending nurse slapped her because she wasn’t breathing.
“Finally then, she came to life,” said her daughter, Leslie Minteer of North Huntingdon.
L. Marjorie Thompson Taylor of Greensburg, formerly of Monroeville, died on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. She was 91.
Mrs. Taylor was born April 8, 1927, in Hampton’s Allison Park neighborhood, a daughter of the late Elmer and Besse Thompson.
“She grew up in Aspinwall, although they had to move to my grandparents’ farm in Curtisville for a couple years during the Depression,” Minteer said.
Mrs. Taylor graduated from Aspinwall High School in 1944, and studied but did not earn a degree from the University of Colorado and the University of Pittsburgh.
She met her husband of 64 years, the late Charles Taylor, at a church youth group.
“She asked him to wax her skis, and they hit it off,” Minteer said.
The couple was married Aug. 15, 1953, and lived most of their lives in Monroeville, where Mrs. Taylor was a member of Monroeville United Methodist Church for 64 years.
In their spare time, the couple enjoyed square dancing.
“They’d travel all over the country and even went to square dancing conventions in Atlantic City and New Orleans,” Minteer said. “When we were young, they’d make us go with them as well, to places like Franklin Square in Murrysville. When we got a little older and didn’t have to go, we liked it because we could sneak out of the house while they were gone.”
As Christmas grew near each year, most of the Taylor family waited impatiently for Mrs. Taylor to bake “the best Christmas coffee cake ever,” Minteer said. “I would start anticipating this cake a couple weeks ahead of time. I have the recipe, but I don’t know how I’m ever going to make it as good as she did.”
Mrs. Taylor sold both Avon and World Book products before taking a job as a secretary at Westinghouse.
“She worked and helped put us through college,” Minteer said. “None of us had bills or anything. It was wonderful.”
After she retired, Mrs. Taylor indulged her longtime passions.
“She joined several women’s golf leagues, she volunteered at Family House in (Pittsburgh’s) Oakland (neighborhood), she tutored international students at Pitt in English and writing, and she starting taking art lessons at CCAC and began painting.”
“Began painting” is probably an understatement.
“When my mom was at Weatherwood Manor (in Greensburg), they had an art show for her paintings in October (2018). I don’t think they knew how many she actually had,” Minteer said. “We came over there with, I swear, 250 paintings. We filled an entire activity room, the floors, the window shelves, all of it with her paintings.”
“Mom was queen for a day at that art show,” Minteer said.
Mrs. Taylor is survived by her son Gary (Mary Alice), of Greensburg; daughter, Sharon Bieber, of Dallas; son-in law, Randy Durney, of Houston; daughter Leslie (James) Minteer, of North Huntingdon; eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Memorial donations can be made to Family House, 5001 Baum Blvd., Suite 545, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15213, or UPMC Senior Communities Benevolent Care Fund, c/o Weatherwood Manor, 896 Weatherwood Lane, Greensburg, Pa., 15601.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .