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Barbara Bristol Taylor – A life well-lived

Nathalie Taylor

Special to the Village News

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." ~ Psalm 116:15

On April 8, 2023, my mother, Barbara Bristol Taylor, age 100, passed peacefully in her sleep at home in Fallbrook. A remarkable woman, she was respected and liked by all who knew her. Barbara was soft-spoken, kind, and loving. She had a heart full of unconditional love for family and friends. She loved Jesus Christ, and was a faithful prayer warrior, praying for others until her last day on earth.

Barbara was born in Sacramento on Jan. 22, 1923, to Mary Edith Hanner and William Everett Bristol, then raised on her grandfather's Ayrshire dairy cattle ranch in Elk Grove, California. She loved ranch life, especially her horses. Barbara showed Ayrshire cattle at the California State Fair and took home several blue ribbons.

As a student at Elk Grove High School, she was student body secretary and a cheerleader. She was also a dramatic arts performer and was honored with a "Special Dramatics Award" at her 1940 graduation ceremony.

Barbara attended University of the Pacific where she hosted her own radio program and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech/Drama/English, as well as a California General Secondary Credential. At age 50, while teaching full-time, she enrolled at San Francisco State University, where she earned a Master's degree in Special Education at age 52.

On Sept. 12, 1943, Barbara married LeRoy (Lee) Taylor in Morris Chapel at University of the Pacific. They were married until his passing in 2009 and were together for 65 years.

Barbara began her teaching career in the San Francisco Unified School District, then taught speech at Vallejo Junior College. Her last position was at People's High, an alternative school in Vallejo, California.

In addition to teaching regular classes, she was director of the School Age Parenting Program. For her work at People's High, as well as for her 10 years of service as a board member of the Sonoma State Developmental Center, Barbara was honored with the "California Crystal Star Award" by Governor Pete Wilson.

As long-time Methodists, Barbara and Lee were Bayview District Directors of Lay Speaking for 30 years. Christ The King Lutheran Church in Fallbrook was her church for the last 22 years and, for 10 years, she taught a Bible study for her contemporaries. Always vocal regarding her faith, she told me, "I am grateful for the Lord Jesus Christ, and the fact that he died on the Cross and rose from the dead, so that those who believe may live with him forever in Heaven."

Delta Kappa Gamma, an international teacher's organization, has been a significant part of her life since 1977. Barbara was honored with the Chi State Area X "Service to Community" award in 2005 and was named Chi State Area X "Outstanding Member" in 2011.

She served as the Fallbrook Theta Delta chapter president and was also a founding member of the Chi State LIFE Foundation (Learning Is For Everyone), and also served as its president. Barbara enjoyed public speaking, was a member of Toastmaster's International, and won several awards for her speeches.

While a grammar school student, Barbara learned to tap dance, and continued performing until the age of 90. She enjoyed tapping with a Vallejo senior tap dance troupe called "Alive and Kicking."

Barbara was also a member of the Vallejo Yacht Club, Daughters of the American Revolution, CalRTA, and Eastern Star. As a volunteer with the Braille Institute, she translated books into braille.

Barbara was an elected member of the Solano County Republican Central Committee, served as vice-chair and also as secretary. During this time, she was also an appointed member of the California State Republican Central Committee.

Travel was a joy for Barbara and she visited all 50 US states and 20 countries. She enjoyed Disneyland and was a guest at the Disneyland Hotel about 55 times.

Barbara also loved to paint with oils and painted places that she loved, including the Bristol family cabin near Lake Tahoe.

Including myself, Barbara is survived by son Ron Taylor (Maureen); granddaughter Shannon Taylor and great-grandsons Lee and Teddy; granddaughter Brittany Santiago (Tony); and grandson, Justin Taylor (Annie). Barbara is also survived locally by cousins Patty Taylor Rook (Doug), and Bob Brent (Carol).

On Saturday, May 13 at 2 p.m., a Celebration of Life will be held at Christ The King Lutheran Church, 1620 S. Stagecoach Lane, Fallbrook. Officiated by Pastor Brandon Way, a video tribute from Pastor Mark Johnson, who now resides out-of-state, will be shown.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity), 10641 N. San Fernando Road, Pacoima, CA 91331,, or a favorite charity.


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