Katherine Taylor


Katherine Taylor

June 23, 1917 - April 30, 2012

Katherine M. Taylor, 94, of Walla Walla, died April 30, 2012, at her residence.

Mrs. Taylor was born Mamie Catherine Irwin on June 23, 1917, at Columbia Furnace, Virginia, to Joseph Hugh Elizabeth Irwin. She was the youngest, by far, of five children, being nine years junior to her next closest sibling. She was reportedly spoiled as a child by parents and siblings. She attended local schools. Mamie, as she was then known, completed school only through the eighth grade at the one-room schoolhouse a mile down the road at Columbia Furnace. But it was a source of pride to her (and later her husband and son) that she studied hard and practiced so that her speech, penmanship and reading abilities were quite proficient.

In 1939, she married her childhood sweetheart, Thurman M. Taylor. Mr. Taylor was a career soldier in the U.S. Army. She followed him to duty stations that allowed dependent accompaniment. During his 39 months in the European Theater during World War II she worked in a defense plant near his home in Keyser, W.Va. During this time, she decided "Katherine" with a "K" suited her better and had her name officially changed, retaining her original middle name of Mamie. This later proved fortuitous when the president's wife shared the uncommon name of Mamie - Eisenhower.

On her husband's retirement from active duty, the family settled in Walla Walla in 1958. Mrs. Taylor worked 14 years at Eastgate Drug retiring in 1972 when Mr. Taylor retired from civilian federal service with the Corps of Engineers. Katherine especially enjoyed caring for the greeting card section in the store and ever after would turn over all cards received to see if they were from Hallmark. "When you care enough to give the very best."

She was a devoted wife, mother and homemaker. She was also a good sport; rough camping and fishing with her family, enduring numerous cross-country trips with perilous side treks, learning to drive (from a professional driving instructor - even their marriage wasn't that strong), making many of her own clothes and patching up both husband and son's clothing and injuries.

Through the years she became very involved with the good works of Emmanuel Lutheran Church and remained an active volunteer and supporter until her death. Many hours were spent with the Priscilla Circle quilting and other activities. Mrs. Taylor was an avid rose grower with many years membership in the Walla Walla Rose Society. She showed often at the fair, taking home many ribbons for her flowers.

Mrs. Taylor is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Susan Taylor, also of Walla Walla; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins, primarily in Virginia. Her husband, Thurman, died in 2003 after the couple had shared 64 years of marriage. She was also preceded in death by three brothers and a sister, all of Northern Virginia.

All her life Katherine Taylor was a gentle, kind, devout woman who cared deeply for her family, both immediate and "back home" in Virginia. She worked hard to help make her life and that of her beloved husband and son better. In that she succeeded very well.

There will be in a private ceremony for family and friends at the Mountain View Cemetery in Walla Walla. Memorials may be made to the Christian Aid Center or the charity of the donor's choice through the Herring-Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder St., Walla Walla, WA 99362. Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.herringgroseclose.com.

No more can we ask. May she rest in peace.


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