Kathryn Willis Taylor, 89, of Sea Level, North Carolina, passed away on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at her home.
Her funeral service will be held at 3 p.m., Sunday, May 28th at Sea Level Methodist Church, officiated by Rev. Nelson Koonce. Interment will follow at Nelson Bay Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., at the church prior to the service.
Kathryn was born March 31, 1934, at the Morehead City Hospital to the late Lucille Willis. She was raised by her late grandparents, Wallace and Kate Willis, better known as Papa and Mammy in North River near East Carteret High School. She graduated from Beaufort High School and soon met the love of her life, Alvah Braxton Taylor. They got married in 1955 when she was 21 and he was 30. When someone said she married an old man, she responded, “but ain’t he pretty”. She wasn’t ugly herself with her perfect teeth, beautiful smile and outgoing personality. They moved to Sea Level where they spent their entire life. She often referred to the home place as “Down Town Sea Level”.
They moved in with Braxton’s mother, the late Angeline Salter Taylor. It’s a good thing because Mammy cried at their wedding saying, “she doesn’t even know how to boil water.” Ultimately, she turned into an excellent cook and she became well known for her culinary skills in making delicious desserts. She was especially fond of making Christmas confections like peanut butter balls, rum balls, and fruit cake cookies which she lovingly shared.
Kathryn will be remembered for her wonderful sense of humor and ability to talk to anyone and make them feel important. Her favorite saying (usually directed at men) was “I’d love to take you home, sit you on my lap and rock you while feeding you cookies.” Her flamboyant personality was demonstrated through her bright clothing wardrobe with an extensive collection of colorful crocs. She had the uncanny ability to make others laugh usually by pointing out her own flaws.
Kathryn’s primary role in life was that of being a mother and homemaker. Her devotion and love for her children was evident. Even during her last days with poor health, she often said she couldn’t leave because she needed to take care of her children. That love and devotion naturally transferred to her grandchildren and great children as they joined the family. After her children were grown, she went to work eventually retiring from Sea Level Hospital and Extended Care Facility, Carteret Health Care Sea Level Pharmacy and Pruitt Health Care holding a variety of positions. She loved people and the friends she made there were priceless.
She is survived by her six children: Michael Braxton Taylor, Mitchell Gordon Taylor (Linda), Angela Lucille Taylor Best, Kay Taylor Tosto (Jim), Tracy Dawn Taylor Wade (Arnold), and Lura Gail Taylor.
Grandchildren: Michael Braxton Taylor, Jr (Samantha), Lesley Raye Taylor, Juliet Leigh Taylor, Janice Leigh Taylor Creel (John), Nikki Tosto Johnson (Chris), Sabra Tosto Willis (Lee), Jessica Lynne Wade Merrill (Trevor), and Braxton Louis Wade. Thirteen great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild.
Sister-in-Law: Barbara Hill Taylor; Niece: Julia Catherine Nelson (Todd); Nephews: Harry Simmons, Jr., Alvah Taylor Simmons (Nina), Bradford Taylor, Rodney Blake Taylor Jr.; Special cousins: Lena Respess, Tilmon Allen Taylor, Lura Jean Hill, Deanna Taylor, Susan Helton, Red Doyle, Patricia Green, Jennifer Allen, and Catherine Daughtery; as well as many other family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Alvah Braxton Taylor; mother, Lucille Willis Garner; an unborn grandchild; and an unborn great grandchild.
Brother/Sister in Laws: Clyde and Clara Belle McGirk, Harry and Mildred Simmons, Eldred and Vernie Taylor, Rodney Taylor; Nephew: Joseph McGirk; Special cousins: Susan Salter, Thelma Millis, and Polly Murzynowski.
A heartfelt thanks goes to caregivers Debra Taylor and Teresa Salter as well as Carteret Health Care Home Health and Hospice Services. The family is especially grateful for The Sea Level Rescue Squad who came to the residence many times to help in times of need. She knew each staff member by name. But the one who made the most sacrifices and gave the most exceptional care is her youngest daughter, Lura Gail Taylor. She moved in with her parents when their father became ill and continued that care through the rest of their mother’s life.
The four daughters would also like to thank Carteret Community College, Carteret Health Care and Coastal Community Action for making special accommodations to allow them to care for their mother.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Sea Level Cemetery Association, Inc., 113 Shell Hill Road, Sea Level NC 28577.
Family and friends are welcome to submit online condolences at www.mundenfuneralhome.net
Arrangements by Munden Funeral Home & Crematory in Morehead City, NC.