Minerva Jane Taylor, 87, passed away on Nov. 13. She was born in Cleveland on Feb. 28, 1933, the daughter of the late William McKinley Duncan Jr. and Mary Louisa Duncan. Her father was an executive with the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad, Ohio, until 1946 when he changed careers to pursue an interest in agriculture and the family moved to Mercedes, Texas, where they had purchased a citrus grove.
After Minerva graduated from high school in 1950, she attended the University of Colorado. She graduated in 1954 with a B.S. in medical technology and was a member of the Chi Omega sorority. Following college, she worked at MD Anderson hospital in Houston.
In 1955 she married Theodore “Ted” Taylor, would would be her beloved husband of 65 years. Ted was a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force following his graduation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1958 they moved to Moorestown, New Jersey, where Ted worked for Radio Corporation of America (RCA). In 1962 Ted was transferred by RCA to Massachusetts, where they settled in Andover and resided for 53 years. In 2015 they moved to Rowley to live closer to their eldest daughter.
Jane, as she was known to her friends, was an active member of Christ Church Andover, served on the altar guild and volunteered for many years at the church’s Andover Thrift Shop. In her later years she volunteered by reading to schoolchildren at the South Elementary School in Andover. She was an avid swimmer at the Andover/North Andover YMCA, swimming every week for 25-plus years with a group of friends that became a story in the book “A Day in the Life of the American Woman.” She loved to travel, study history, play bridge and attend the Boston Symphony Orchestra. A nature lover, she treasured spending every summer at Squam Lake, New Hampshire, enjoying sailing, swimming and sharing outdoor adventures with her family. She was a gifted storyteller, with a great recollection of family history, which she shared with her grandchildren on their numerous visits. The past few years she was often seen taking walks and chatting with neighbors, her husband always at her side. Minerva Jane will be remembered for her easy smile, graciousness, relentless positive attitude and unwavering love and commitment to her husband and three children.
Along with her husband, Minerva is survived by three children, Catherine Taylor and Dr. Bryan Parrott of Ipswich, John Taylor and wife Pam of Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, and Cynthia Taylor and husband Don Jackson of Hopkinton. She also is survived by four grandchildren, Alex Taylor, Clay Taylor, Anne Jackson and Charlie Jackson, and seven nieces and nephews. She is survived by two brothers, Bill Duncan O’Neal of Overland Park, Kansas, and Dr. James Duncan of San Antonio. She was preceded in death by her elder sister, Anne Petersen.
A private funeral service for immediate family was held at Christ Church, Andover, on Nov. 23. Services were under the care of the Conte Funeral Home of Andover (contefuneralhomes.com). In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions on behalf of Minerva Jane Taylor may be made to the Squam Lakes Association, 534 U.S. Route 3, Holderness, NH 03245 or squamlakes.org, or to the Merrimack Valley YMCA, 360 Merrimack St., Building 9, Suite 270, Lawrence, MA 01843 or mvymca.org.