The Taylors were pillars of the Frakes community. Both were born in the area. Mabel’s father, William Henderson, donated the 60-acre tract of land that Henderson Settlement sits on. Both Mabel and Bill lived in the Henderson Settlement dormitories as teenagers. In fact, that’s where they met.
Bill Taylor liked to tell the story of their meeting. The story goes: Bill was walking along near the Henderson Settlement public swimming pool when he noticed a young lady struggling in the water. Bill immediately jumped in to save her. The 14-year-old that he rescued on that day became his wife in his late-twenties.
The couple had four children and later, five grandchildren. Mabel stayed true to her profession of teaching throughout the years. She retired with 38 years of teaching under her belt.
“She loved teaching, that was her passion,” daughter Kathy Taylor said of her mother.
A true supporter of liberal arts, Mabel taught english, art, drama and music. She gave private piano lessons for many years and played piano at Hope United Methodist Church in Frakes. She had many interesting experiences in her long life. Those experiences include: Meeting President Hoover, teaching in a one-room school house in Garmeada, and working at Oak Ridge Atomic Energy Plant during World War II. Mabel sang, danced, wrote, traveled, organized festivals and participated in drama clubs. She graduated from Berea College in 1939 with a degree in English and Art. She went on from there to pursue an artistic life.
While Bill Taylor’s life was abruptly taken — he died on the night of Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008, as a result of the injuries he sustained during a violent home invasion robbery on Jan. 15 — Mabel passed peacefully. Mabel died on Sunday, Feb. 10, at the J.J. Johnson Geriatric Center in Louisa, Ky.
Mabel never learned of Bill’s death. She was ill at the time of his murder and the family was waiting to tell her the tragic story.
The Taylor family planned a memorial service for their father for March 15. Since the family now also grieves the death of Mabel, that service has been canceled and a new service planned.
The family invites the public to attend the dual memorial service for Bill and Mabel Taylor on Saturday, Feb. 16 at Hope United Methodist Church in Frakes, Ky. Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Service will be held at 1 p.m. at Hope Church, burial will follow at Henderson Cemetery. Immediately following the burial, an open reception and luncheon will take place at Hope Church.
Brandy Calvert is the Senior Staff Writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. Contact her via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.