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Janice Marie (McDonough) Taylor

Janice Marie (McDonough) Taylor was born March 6, 1941 to Edgar and Netha (Cline) McDonough of West Union, Iowa. It was there she would spend an idyllic childhood on a farm east of town.  Growing up in rural Iowa in the 40’s and 50’s she learned much about the stewardship of the land, cooking a full, family style meal and caring for the many animals on the farm.  Her favorite childhood stories always included an adventure with her dad, a pony or a horse with a very specific personality trait or some wild mishap that always ended with a good-natured laugh.

Janice attended country school for her early education and graduated from West Union High School in 1959. She earned a degree in Education from The State College of Iowa (present day University of Northern Iowa) in 1963.  It was there she met her husband Richard B. Taylor, a fellow Iowa farm kid who had the good sense to ask out the tallest girl in the room.

Dick and Jan were married on August 8, 1964. The couple soon moved to Waterloo to raise their three daughters Mary, Anne and Dawn.  Jan was often heard to say she had no real recollection of the late 60’s as she was busy raising three kids, all under the age of four.

By the time the girls entered elementary school Jan was fully emersed in various local organizations including the Jaycettes, The Junior League, Questers and PEO.  It was through these organizations that Jan made life-long friends and contributed significantly to a multitude of community projects.

Those friendships evolved into bridge groups, an investment club, and a birthday group that has met for more than 40 years.  Jan was an avid reader and participated in a book club that met monthly for years.  Even as the pandemic roared, the book club went on-line and continues to meet every few weeks if for nothing more than an excuse to “see” one another and be social.  All of her friend groups were a beautiful mix of her love of history, antiques, arts and culture.

In the late 1980’s Jan began working as the librarian and archivist for the Grout Museum of History and Science.  Her career at the museum showcased her love of local history, her superior organizational skills and her incredible ability to recall the who, what, where and when of most any significant event in Black Hawk County.  She thoroughly enjoyed visiting with friends and strangers alike when they would come into the museum library to work on a family history or do research for a local project.

Jan and Dick loved to travel.  When the girls were little vacations consisted of long road trips in the family station wagon.  Sometimes the destination was the “Old West” or in later years, a week in Hayward, Wisconsin, fishing and relaxing.   In later years the couple was known to pick a region of the country and spend a week or two driving to various sites around the country. They would stop at most any Revolutionary or Civil War site, a museum or some common point of interest they shared.  Simply put, it didn’t matter where they were going, they enjoyed being together.

In 2001 Jan and several friends made a birthday trip to Charleston and Savannah. Hearing recent recollections of that trip, it was clearly a time all will cherish forever.  After Dick’s death in 2010, Jan continued traveling with her daughters and her close friends.  She stayed active in her numerous social circles and in many ways was busier than when she was working and raising a family.

Jan was known for many wonderful qualities, but none more than her thoughtfulness for others.  She would be the first at your door with a meal in a time of crisis or a “just because” gift.  Greatly missed will be Christmas at Jan’s house.  When the girls were small, Christmas morning always included a new outfit for each daughter.  She would have spent hours on her sewing machine after the girls had gone to sleep.  She had a keen, creative eye for fashion and was a masterful seamstress.  She loved to shop and she especially loved to shop for others.  Opening presents could take all day, as each gift had a story.  And sometimes a gift had a back-up gift.  “If you don’t like that one, or if that one doesn’t fit, I have another one in a different size in the other room”.

Great personal warmth, charm, and wit that shines through tough times are all said to be traits of the Irish.  Without a doubt, this describes Jan through and through.  The past 20 years have presented the Taylor family with some significant challenges.  Jan met each one head on, never heard to complain…and always wearing super cute shoes.

Janice was preceded in death by her parents Edgar and Netha McDonough, her brothers Edward and Frank McDonough, her husband Richard B. Taylor, and her daughter Mary L. Taylor.  She is survived by her daughters Anne Taylor (Chris Limburg) and Dawn Taylor both of Ames, Iowa, and innumerable beloved friends.

In lieu of flowers please direct memorials to:

House of Hope, Waterloo, Iowa

https://houseofhopeccd.org

Gift of Life Transplant House, Rochester, MN.

https://gift-of-life.org

 

 

 

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