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Mary Lynn Taylor

Mary Lynn Taylor, was born September 4, 1965, to Richard Brent Taylor and Janice McDonough Taylor in Waterloo, Iowa. It was there that she grew up with her two younger sisters, Anne and Dawn. She naturally took to the older sister role by orchestrating neighborhood adventures like playing Charlie’s Angels, Oregon Trail, and fulfilling her babysitting responsibilities.  She was the director, the teacher, and the overall fearless leader.

Family vacations were a staple when John Deere went on annual plant shutdown. The family made several trips to the “Old West” through Wyoming and Colorado visiting every historical marker along the way.  In later years the annual family vacation destination became Hayward, Wisconsin.  Mary continued that tradition on her own until just a few years ago.  Nothing like a week at the lake and numerous good books to revitalize her spirit.

Mary attended the University of Iowa and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education. Her teaching career was relatively short lived due to junior high students and their natural tendency to be intolerable. At the Cedar Falls Tourism Bureau, Mary began her long and dedicated career in community involvement. Leadership came naturally and volunteering was a lifelong path for her.

Mary met her mentor and dear friend, Gerald Anglum at the University of Northern Iowa where she eventually became the Director of Marketing.  She and Gerald shared many conversations about how best to solve all the worlds problems.  She quoted him often during their time together at UNI and well after his passing in 2004.

Mary found her true calling and dream job as the Director of Development at the Western Home Communities.  She helped secure major gifts for Jorgensen Plaza, Diamond Event Center, Nation Cottage, Thuesen Cottage, Deery Suites and The Grosse Aquatic and Wellness Center. She quickly became a resident favorite due to her affable nature and ability to bond over most any subject of interest, from needle pointing to world history and everything in between.  The group trips Mary and Carolyn Martin planned for the Western Home residents and their guests have become legendary.  San Francisco/Napa, Nashville, New Orleans and Chicago to see Hamilton last summer are among the top of the list of most enjoyed.

One of Mary’s passions was her love of downtown Cedar Falls and her efforts toward its revitalization. She made her home there and participated in an investment group that purchased the Cedar Falls post office and is now home to Bike Tech.  As a result of her numerous community involvement efforts over the years, Mary earned the prestigious Cedar Falls Representative Citizen Award in 2018.

Even though she made Cedar Falls her home, she had a large group of close friends in the Ames area. When attending one of the Ames dinner parties, you could count on Mary to bring anything other than what she had been assigned. In keeping with her adventurous spirit, there were trips to Austin, Portland, Madison, and numerous small-town Iowa road trips with the Ames crew. On occasion, she enjoyed getting away from it all with the solitude of books, music, and a secluded lake house in Wisconsin to decompress.

Mary was preceded in death by her father, Richard, Grandparents Edgar and Netha McDonough, and Peter and Frances Taylor. She is survived by her mother Janice of Waterloo, sisters Anne Taylor (Chris Limburg) and Dawn Taylor of Ames, Goddaughter Katie Freeland, and several nieces and nephews. There is little doubt that St. Peter has already been offered several helpful suggestions to make the admittance process a bit more efficient.

In lieu of flowers, Memorials may be sent to either The Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Art Center at the University of Northern Iowa or Cedar Falls Community Main Street.




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