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Mary Helisek Taylor

May 10, 1926 ~ December 23, 2023 (age 97) 97 Years Old

Mary Taylor Obituary

Mary (Helisek) Taylor was born on May 10, 1926, and passed peacefully at Heritage Valley Hospital, Beaver at 2:30 AM on Saturday, December 23, 2023.  Three days prior, she asked those at her bedside, “You know they took my license, don’t you?”. She, of course, was reminding anyone who would listen that she was a fiercely independent woman who liked nothing more than to get behind the wheel and go where she wanted when she wanted. And boy did she go!  

Before being widowed by her best friend, Melvin Ross Taylor, in 1986, they took multiple cross-country road trips where, as she would say, they “saw every hole there was to be seen in this country”.  They shared a wonderfully full life together which included their two surviving children, Carol Lee (Roger) Welsh and Lee Dwight (Ellen) Taylor, both of Beaver Falls.  

Mary came to the United States from Czechoslovakia at the age of three with her parents, Joseph and Mary Helisek, and 5 siblings, Frank, Eugene, Joseph, Jerry, and Rose who have all since passed.  They all set roots in White Township where they welcomed her lone surviving sister, Ann (Helisek) Braheny.  

Despite having just two children of her own, Mary was the proud Grandmother of nine (Roger II, Maria, Jason, Tara, Anita, Adam, Greg, Matt, and Darcy), Great Grandmother of 16 (Rachael, Jacob, Hannah, Sophia, Jack, Wiley, Zane, Nigel, Vivian, Ava, Tessa, Greta, Wilhelmina, Jude, Luisa, and Eli), and Great, Great Grandmother of three (Kendall, Clark, and Collins).  She felt too young to be called Great Grandma, so her family flipped the words and she became Grandma Great, and it suited her to a T. She was great in every way! She managed to be at every ball field, every basketball court, every school event, and every religious Rite.  Always with her pocket Kodak camera on hand and time to stop at Dairy Queen or Eat ‘n Park.  She was up for sleepovers, quick to mend or alter clothes, and always had a pitcher of iced tea in the fridge and several packs of gum in the drawer just in case one of the kids came by. 

She was a person you could count on, and many people did. You could count on Mary to be at Sims Lanes every Thursday night with her bowling team that she was on for 30 years.  You could count on Mary to show up for work at the Beaver Falls Middle School cafeteria where she worked until retirement after 30 years.  You could count on Mary to deliver Meals on Wheels.  You could count on Mary to keep adoration late Sunday nights at the chapel at St. Mary’s church for many, many years.  

Mary’s life was simple, yet so very full, and her family will forever be grateful for the spice she added to their lives.  Quick-witted and lighthearted describe her personality well and we could all take a lesson from her on not sweating the small stuff.  She truly thought she could do anything and the infamous Christmas pogo stick attempt that landed her on the coffee table one year is one of the family’s best stories.  At parties, she could be happily be found with a margarita or a glass of wine and a smile.  She was deeply loved and her presence will be sorely missed. 

She didn’t want to be “stared at” when she died, so the family would pay tribute to her privately. So it is here that her family would like to express their deep gratitude to her special neighbors who helped make it possible for her to remain in her family home by herself all of these years which was very important to her.  In a world full of fear and cynicism, neighborliness and community definitely still exist. 

Goodbye Grandma Great with the beautiful blue eyes, you were the best!

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