Today we are in Ventura California to celebrate Lois Taylor’s (Mom) life of 99 years.
Lois led an exceptional life full of travel and adventure, witnessed and experienced unimaginable change in this world during her life.
She was a California girl that traveled through Europe, driven the Alaska Hwy 3 times and visited that state more than 30 times including once during the dead of winter.
In the mid 1930’s her family departed St Louis headed for the land of opportunity California where sunshine, orange trees and a very moderate climate awaited.
After driving across the sand dunes on the single lane wooden plank roads near Yuma Calif, Lois arrived with her parents and two sisters in Los Angeles. At that time the Los Angelus was still just a hamlet surrounded by farms and orange groves.
The living was easy in those early years, the concepts of congestion and smog were yet to be realized.
Lois attend school Mt Saint Marys located in the hills of Bell Air where she got her degree in nutrition.
During the many trips north to visit family in San Francisco, Lois rode in an open air rumble seat in the back of an old Ford coupe. The trip along Hwy 1 took a full 12 hours or more and she and her sisters were throughly wind burned upon arrival.
In the early 1940’s Lois sold all her possessions, bought a ticket to Hawaii and traveled by steam ship to the islands with her girl friends. This was back when airplanes only had propellers.
In the the late 1940’s she met and married Sam Taylor (Dad). Together they followed jobs that took them around most of the western states. During this period they raised 5 energetic and very intelligent children 🙂
Dad’s work took us to many different states and new towns which meant moving the family at least 6 or 7 times between 1950 and 1964. Mom got very good at packing.
During these years of moving from one job to the next Mom’s mantra was that Sunday afternoons were set aside for exploring the local back roads of each new town. This usually meant wandering past road closed or no traspassing signs to see what was just up around the corner. Typically when stopped mom would almost certainly make friends with whomever stopped us.
These were the burgeoning years of my wanderlust and I am convinced what inspired my lust for travel
Once her sons permanently moved to Alaska in the 70’s Sam and Lois traveled north almost every summer to join them.
She volunteered at the Denali National Park visitor center and she and Sam spent one summer as campground hosts at Teklanika campground located in a remote section of the parks wilderness.
They divided their time between Taylor Basecamp in Denali National Park and Copper Center where their son Sam and his wife Chris lived just outside Wrangel Saint Elias National Park.
Her Alaskan adventures are many and stuff of legend.
Without question Lois influenced and helped shape her family’s lives in many extraordinary ways.
She always set the good example and how do the right thing no matter what the outcome.
She has met thousands of people and has asked them millions of sometimes very direct and personal questions all the while learning new things and making many good friends along the way.
With her open minded outlook and ever positive attitude Mom always inspired all that meet her.
Thank you for all you taught us and did for us throughout our formative years.
We are very lucky to have you as our mother and mentor. We will always miss your warm smile, your always positive attitude and your ability to befriend anyone and everyone.
We will forever love you and miss you.