Olive Taylor

Obituary of Olive Taylor

Olive D. Taylor, a lifelong resident of Woburn, passed away at her home surrounded by her family on Monday afternoon, October 13, 2008. She was 88 years old. Olive was born on July 2, 1920 in Everett the oldest child of the late Thomas George Taylor and Sarah Katherine (Moffitt) Taylor. She was raised in Woburn and graduated from the Wyman School and the Woburn High School, Class of 1938. She worked locally for the Caldwell Furniture Company as a bookkeeper. Olive then had the opportunity to work for McGrath Travel of Woburn where she had the responsibility of being in charge of International Travel and Worldwide Cruises until her retirement. With McGrath she had the opportunity to travel extensively in a career that was fulfilling and enjoyable. She was active in travel organizations; Women in Travel and the American Society of Travel Agents. Olive was a member of the Woburn United Methodist Church where she served faithfully through the years on many committees. She was a member of the Eastern Star, a volunteer during WW II as a Red Cross Nurses’ Aid and a volunteer at the Choate Memorial Hospital. She was an avid Red Sox, Patriots, and Bruins fan. She attended many Red Sox Spring Trainings in Florida. Olive will be sadly missed by her family. Olive is the beloved daughter of the late Thomas George Taylor and Sarah Katherine (Moffitt) Taylor. She is the sister of Donald T. Taylor & his wife Gene of Bolton, MA and the late Lt. Robert G. Taylor (WWII) and Natalie M. Bettinson. She is the sister-in-law of Howard E. Bettinson of Burlington. She is the aunt of Donna Taylor Matlock of Bolton, Caryl Bettinson Higgins & her husband Dennis of Sandown, NH, Kimberly Bettinson Cooke & her husband Bud of Largo, FL, David B. Taylor of Bolton, Mark H. Bettinson of Burlington, Craig Bettinson & his wife Gretchen of York, ME, Robert Bettinson & his wife Stacie of Acton. Great aunt of Caitlin Higgins Stonis & her husband Peter, Sarah, Johanna & Andrew Higgins, Alexandra Matlock, Jordan, Devon, Haley, Grace, Taylor, Travis, Todd & Callahan Bettinson & Oliver Taylor. Great great aunt of Emily Stonis. Dear friend of the late Herman Graham. Also survived by many cousins in the States, Ireland and England. Funeral Services will be held at the Woburn United Methodist Church, 523 Main St., Woburn on Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 10:30 a.m. Visiting hours will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., Burlington (Exit 34 off Rt. 128, Woburn side) on Tuesday from 4-8 p.m. Interment in Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn. In lieu of flowers memorials in Olive’s name may be made to the Woburn United Methodist Church, 523 Main St., Woburn, MA 01801. Olive Deria Taylor, Aunty too many, was a lifelong resident of Woburn, a lifelong member of the Methodist Church, and a long time supporter of Hallmark Cards. She was the matriarch of the Taylor/Bettinson family. She was also a dear friend too many. Olive was the oldest of the four Taylor children, born to Sarah and Thomas George Taylor. As the oldest she assumed and/or had a need to care for and worry about everyone that followed after her in the family, right down to her grand nieces and nephews. I know when aunty was around us, her primary focus was on our well being and safety. We all knew that you NEVER, EVER put down a drink at a party because for sure it would be spiked with something, or that the kids were never to go to the restroom alone in a restaurant, even if you were sitting at the table outside of the door. Of course, there were the constant reminders to drive safely, and to be careful. At times it seemed like it was overkill, but it was based on love and concern. When Jordan took a recent road trip to Montreal with friends, I purposely didn’t tell aunty cause I knew she would worry the whole time she was gone. Of course, Dad couldn’t wait to tell her! Before the internet, the World Wide Web and facebook and all the social networking sites that many of us use today to stay in touch and share what’s going on in our lives, we had AUNTY! All she needed was a telephone, some notepaper, some stamps and a pair of scissors to clip newspaper articles and obits and she was the hub of information for all of us. I know that one ten minute call was all it took to get caught up on what was happening with every member of the family (whether you wanted to or not). There was no shortage of memory, or worry of a virus, aunty rolled old school and kept everything very clear in her mind right up to the end. Dad has said that two of the major events in aunties’ life, were when she started to work for McGrath Travel and when she met Herman Graham. Now I can think of a few more, like 7 nieces and nephews, and 14 great nieces and nephews, and 1 great grand niece, but I guess that goes without saying. Aunties’ tenure with McGrath Travel offered rewards throughout her life. She was closer to home with Grandpa Taylor after Grandma passed, she was able to travel the world, and she had many friends...Hilda, Fran, Bunny, Signey, the Mahoney Brothers and more. We also benefitted from her career in travel as she took each of her nieces and nephews on a trip to some exotic place. I myself enjoyed a cruise to Bermuda. AND then of course there was her boss Mavis. Mavis was a woman ahead of her time and aunty it seems lived vicariously through Mavis’s antics. In fact, the only time I remember aunty swearing was when she’d quote a Mavis story. In recent weeks, in one of her final visits to Panera she sat at the table and told some of those stories again, invoking lots of laughter. Were in church or I’d share a few of them with you now! Aunty never married, instead choosing to care for and be there for others. She stayed in the family home with Grandpa Taylor. The family was her “marriage”. She was there for each of us and loved each and every one of us, unconditionally. No matter what, we knew that aunty loved each of us equally, and believe me if anyone tested her ability to love unconditionally, it was me! (but I know I was a favorite) She loved to read to each of the kids, played the piano and sang, read the funnies aloud on a Sunday (in character). She would bake her famous tuna noodle casserole, blueberry muffins and lemon chiffon pie-no holiday was complete without it! Then out of nowhere in her 60’s we start to hear about Herman. They spent many years together, travelling to spring training, taking cruises or car trips to Canada, going out for dinner and a show, and playing cribbage. She thought the world of Herman and he of her. When he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and ultimately placed in a nursing home she was there faithfully for him and to support his daughter Jacqui, as tough as it was for her to see him like that. Aunty was also there for many others, including her sister, my mother, Natalie who in later years had advanced Alzheimer’s. They would spend each day together starting with a stop at Panera to see friends old and new, then a trip to the hairdressers or a doctor appt, meet friends for lunch, shop for cards at CVS or hallmark and then be home in time for Judge Judy. They were very close. Aunty had a dream a few months ago where mom was smiling and reaching out for her, telling her that it was ok, but when aunty reached out, she woke up. It was not time! Honestly, I don’t think she had finished planning every detail of her service and who was to receive her personal treasures. There was more work to be done! But she did not fear dying, she was at peace, a woman of strong faith and she knew that when it was time, what was waiting for her. In recent years, aunty relied more on the generosity and support of others, as she struggled with cancer and related treatments. She never complained or felt victimized; she remained strong, classy, independent, was clear in her mind and enjoyed the simpler things in life, usually centered around visits to or by the family and friends. She expressed how grateful she was to those that helped her, including dad. During her final days, she would ask is Howard here? Oh she loved Howard, and as a result felt at liberty to let him know if she approved of his actions. Then there were her dear friends and neighbors Betty and Gerry. When aunty moved 7 years ago into the “new” building because they had laundry inside the apt, she (and we) got more than we bargained for. After months of hearing Betty this, Gerry that, I just had to meet them. Well let me tell you, they were a blessing to all of us and a real source of strength for aunty. And of course all the family members and friends that drove her, visited her, sent cards and flowers. All of that meant so much to her. Aunty went out on her own terms, under the care of my niece Sarah, who lived with aunty at home til she passed on Monday surrounded by those that loved her and an apartment full of personal treasures and pictures, grateful that god answered her prayers to live those final days without pain. Aunties’ passing leaves a big gap in each of our lives, but we can draw from a wealth of memories, stories, pictures, recipes, newspaper clippings and if you’re sentimental, old hallmark cards you rec’d from aunty. Personally I’ll always treasure sharing the final moments of the red sox World Series and Patriots Super Bowl victories over the phone! That is of course, if Bobby or Mark hadn’t reached aunty ahead of me! Whenever we would get together, and if it was in York, you could set your clock knowing that an hour after they drove off for Woburn, the phone would ring and aunty would say, didn’t we have a wonderful time? Even if we had cold burnt pizza and bottles of flat soda, she would just think everything was “wonderful”. I can assure you that’s not what was served and aunty was always sent home with a meal for the next day. But it was wonderful because what was really important to her was the time that we spent together, the rest was icing on the cake. She cherished her moments with the kids and family! I know later today she would say, wasn’t today wonderful? Aunty Olive you are wonderful! I can only echo what Craig and Donna have shared with you up to this point. I do want to thank you her friends and her church family for the friendship, which she so much enjoyed through the years, right up to the end of her journey in life. What a blessing it has been to be able to lean on one another through this time of sorrow and I too want to thank Sarah for giving such loving care to Olive these past weeks. The support from all of you has been phenomenal. We are very grateful. I do want to thank my brother-in-law Howard for the kindnesses he has shown Olive all through the years: including her in he and Natalie’s busy household, activities, sports events, family gatherings, you name it. Thank you Howard. You are the best! To you Pastor Abiot for the short time you have been in Woburn you ministered to Olive so lovingly and were such a blessing to us as you came to visit and shared the scriptures and prayer and song. I would like to add that Olive as a small child was taken to Ireland with my parents and was there for almost a year. My father had come back to start building our home in Woburn. She and my mother came back on the Assyria to Ellis Island, I didn’t realize this or had forgotten until this past year and I mentioned to Olive,” Your name could on the wall at Ellis Island” and she said, “I wasn’t an immigrant, I was a citizen.” Olive along with other members of our family, as adults, many years ago rededicated our lives to Christ and our walk has been so enhanced with many promises in scripture. From Proverbs we are reminded to “Trust in the Lord with all our Hearts and lean not on our own understanding, In all our ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths.” Olive so trusted the Lord in this way. The gospel tells us that our most sacred thoughts, our deepest affections, our sublime emotions are as nothing compared to what we shall experience as believers when we meet our Saviour face to face. The life which we have received as believers in Christ is eternal life. As we look around us in the autumn season and see the beauty of His handiwork it reminds us that “we haven’t seen with our eyes nor heard with our ears, the things the Lord has provided for those who love Him.” Another of Olive’s favorite hymns was It is Well with My Soul, at this time the Higgins family (her nieces and nephews) will share it with us. Thank you Craig – You are gathered here today to remember the life of Olive Taylor or to support each family member or friend. Aunt Olive would have been pleased and said to you; “thank you for being here.” Craig shared so much and just when you think it has all been said - there is more. You have said to me in the past few days: · I was just getting to know Olive and I wish that I had gotten to spend more time with her. · Olive was genuinely interested in each person she met. · She remembered things so well and could recount stories that would keep you spellbound, laughing and wanting to hear more. · Olive had such a sweet smile and was never in a bad mood. · You could call her day or night; for advice, to share a story, tell a secret, share a dream, share a t.v. show, or share fears of the unknown. · You said to me: She was my best “cheerleader” · She spoke up to what was right and was always on my side. · She had a positive attitude always. 2 Examples: 1. When she got her walker she came into Panera’s saying: “look at my top of the line new buggy.” 2. She got a hospital bed and her thoughts were of the great view she had with the changing leaves, and the courthouse. · You said to me: She shared her experiences with cancer to my daughter who was diagnosed with something similar - she helped my daughter get through it. Does all this sound familiar? If you close your eyes you may be able to visualize other things than have not been expressed here that are unique to Aunt Olive. We thought as a family we were the focus of her attention and while that was true you showed us her love was far more reaching than ourselves. Aunt Olive was a caring, giving woman. Aunt Olive loved God and knew His love in her life, she had a desire to follow His ways for her and she walked the walk of her faith each day. She was not always vocal to others about her faith. Instead she let God’s light shine through her and as asked. She was ready to give an explanation of what made her life meaningful One of her lasts nights here on earth she was talking away in very hushed tones, almost a whisper…she asked: Is the Family together and Is everyone alright? This simple question given in these hushed tones showed where her heart was during a time that would have been normally thought of as “all about her.” Upon leaving her apartment Aunt Olive would watch from the window and wave the curtains to say bye. In a book of her Mother’s was a poem which Aunt Olive just loved which she had printed on the back of the bulletin. It is entitled “The Watcher”. I would like to read this to you as it so describes her – please follow along if you would like to. Aunt Olive knew she was to be in the loving arms of her Heavenly Father – she looked to Him and died peacefully knowing because of His love to her she did not have to fear. My father – Olive’s brother and friend has some promises to share with you that enabled Aunt Olive to face her life and death; peacefully and graciously. Dad
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