Helen Thompson Taylor died on Friday, September 14, surrounded by friends and family. She was 85. Helen was a well-known teacher and musician in Newton, MA, teaching in the Newton Public Schools for 35 years including as Chair of the Music Department at Newton South High School, and serving as music director and organist at Plymouth Church Belmont for 25 years. Helen revolutionized everything she touched, from exponentially expanding her school’s music department and building a new music wing, to inspiring her church to commission a new pipe organ. She used her love of music to bring people together, whether in choirs, musicals, or even hand-bell ringing groups.
Her observant kindness left no one behind. She was always ready with an encouraging word, a home-baked pie, a room to stay in, or financial help. She loved travel and managed many exchange tours between European choirs and her own.
When she moved to Kendal at Oberlin in Ohio in 2009, she continued to volunteer her talents as choral accompanist at the elementary, junior high, and high school level. For this she received an important community service award at the 2015 Oberlin commencement, sharing the stage with Michelle Obama.
Helen was proud of her family, including her three children Lloyd, Criss, and Andrew, and her 11 grandchildren. She leaves an infinite imprint of joy, kindness, music, leadership, and brilliant mischief.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, October 29, 7:15 pm, at Kendal at Oberlin, 600 Kendal Drive, Oberlin, Ohio.