Marion Phyllis (Olsen) Taylor

November 11, 1928 ~ May 16, 2020 (age 91)

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Marion Barrett Taylor, 91, from Collegedale, TN, passed away peacefully May 16, 2020 in Dunlap, TN, after living with Alzheimer’s for many years. She was born November 11, 1928, in Brooklyn, New York, to Peder and Mathilde Olsen, immigrants from Norway. The second of three children, she is survived by her sister Ragnhild Baker, in California, and her brother Olaf Olsen in Connecticut. 

Marion was a passionate, curious, and determined person. At an early age, Marion discovered her love for drawing, and sketched her surroundings in the city, and family members.

Later she attended South Lancaster Academy in Massachusetts, and remained there for nurses training at Atlantic Union College. She expressed her deep love for God by volunteering in Cambodian refugee camps and playing beloved hymns on the piano and the organ for her family and church; her appreciation of nature came out through her art and her habit of walking at least 2 miles a day. She was never one to back down from a spirited discussion of ideas, whether the topic be religion or politics.

During nurses training at the New England Sanitarium in Melrose, Mass, Marion met a handsome young cook, Ed Barrett. They dated and married on Sept 13th, 1950. Marion graduated from nursing school in 1953. Marion and Ed had five children: Elizabeth (Mike) Snooks, in San Diego, California; Jeanne (Jerry) Usher, in Idaho; Ruth (Jon) Lechler, in McDonald, Tennessee; Sandra Pickett, in Dunlap, Tennessee; and their beloved son Lawrence Barrett, who passed away as a teen. The family moved to Collegedale in 1970. Her daughters remember her teaching them about plants and animals, how to sing in harmony, and how to cook, sew, and do other needle work.

As an adult, Marion went back to school to get a BA in History from UTC, and furthered her interests in gardening, painting, and animal rescue. She made it her mission to find homes for the many strays that came her way. She kept daily journals for years, wrote letters to her grandchildren, and left behind dozens of beautiful paintings and drawings that are treasured by her family. After her marriage with Edward ended in 1996, Marion married a retired pastor, Gordon McCrillis, and they lived in the Great Smoky Mountains.  Later, when Gordon passed away, she married Frank Szijarto. After Frank's passing, she married Morris (Rudy) Taylor, who died in 2015. Together they enjoyed travelling and did a little bit of motorcycling.

In addition to her daughters and siblings, Marion is survived by her first husband Edward; her grandchildren Erin (Tim) Olsen, Elizabeth Kijima, Jonathan (Katie) Kijima, Kate Lechler, Ryan Snooks, Julie Lechler, Bronson (Arinda) Bull, and Sandon Bull; and her great-grandchildren Haven Bull, Malayna Bull, Braeden Bull, Adalyn Bull, Loxley Bull, Anderson Bull, Kai Kijima & Zoe Kijima.


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