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Mary E.J. Taliaferro

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Mary E.J. Taliaferro

Mary Elizabeth Jenkins Taliaferro (May 27, 1918-October 22, 2013) was born in Suitland, Maryland. She was the oldest of six children. She attended college at Meredith College and later the University of Maryland, graduating in 1938 with a degree in Home Economics. After teaching Home Economics for one year in Maryland, she moved to Essex County, Virginia, in 1939, where she served as a home demonstration agent.

In Essex she met Oscar Bryan Taliaferro, and they married on April 22, 1942. After World War II, she and her husband and first son moved to Center Cross and began a grain farming business in 1946. They raised six children. In 1966 the Taliaferro family was designated as a Master Farm Family, an award of the Progressive Farmer magazine in cooperation with the Extension Service.

Mary’s husband passed away in 1980. Since 1976 she has served as corporate secretary of Montague Farms Inc.

She has been involved in many church, school, community and agricultural organizations. At Glebe Landing Baptist Church she taught Sunday school and served as organist and choir director. At Beale Memorial she continued to teach Sunday school and served on the church council and steering committee for building a new church. She coordinated the weekly church suppers for many years. She also served as deacon of Beale Memorial Baptist Church.

Mary also participated in many school activities. She was a former president of the PTA. She taught sewing to two generations through the 4-H Club, as well as teaching knitting and tailoring in community education courses.

Mary was a member of the Essex County Woman’s Club for more than 50 years and has twice served as its president. For 25 years, she performed the duties of treasurer for Granny’s Attic in Warsaw, a thrift store for a clothing ministry of local churches. Her other organizations include community chorus, the High Rollers (an investment club), a hospital advisory committee, and Farm Bureau and Farm Credit activities.

She enjoyed sewing, reading, playing games such as Scrabble and Canasta, and traveling. Some countries she visited are Austria, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan, and Panama. When she was 90, she traveled to Israel and visited Jerusalem and Sea of Galilee and other locations.

Mary envisioned and directed the building of her home on the river. For many years she welcomed family and community members to her beach, often serving as hostess to large family, business and community gatherings.

Survivors include a brother and sister-in-law, Clifford and Sue Jenkins; six children, four daughters-in- law and one son-in law, William Lloyd Taliaferro (Linda), Oscar Bryan Taliaferro Jr.(Nancy), David Andrew Taliaferro (Margaret), Trent Clifford Taliaferro (Karen), all of Essex County. and two daughters, Marguerite Taliaferro Garrison of Azalea, Oregon, and Mary Beth Taliaferro Huneke (Peter) of Richmond; 15 grandchildren; and 24 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, October 26, in Beale Memorial Church with the Reverend David Donahue, Dr. Robert McKinley and Reverend Hyung Moon officiating. Interment will follow in Essex Cemetery.  Pallbearers will be William Lloyd Taliaferro, Jr., Thomas Ryland Taliaferro, Allen Matthew Taliaferro, John David Taliaferro, Philip Andrew Taliaferro, David Tobey Taliaferro, James Bryan Taliaferro, Trent Daniel Taliaferro, Stephen Bruce Taliaferro and Mark Chapman Taliaferro.  Memorial contributions may be made to Beale Memorial Baptist Church, P.O. Box 816, Tappahannock, VA 22560.  Arrangements by Marks-Bristow Funeral Home, Tappahannock. 

posted 10.24.2013

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