Lillie Faye Taylor, age 85, died on September 4, 2021 at Mercy Hospital in Lorain, Ohio after being diagnosed with COVID19.
Faye was born on June 25, 1936 in ElDorado, Arkansas to Acie and Lillie Mae Willis as one of six children. Leaving ElDorado for a better life, the family moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas where she graduated from Washington High School in 1954. Following graduation, she attended Hollywood Beauty College In Hot Springs, one or a very few beauty schools open to African Americans. After moving North, first to Lorain, and then to Oberlin, Faye married Jessie Taylor and they raised two sons, Tony and Rodney Brown. Faye opened her Beauty Shop in the basement of their home, while also working at Oberlin College as a cook. At 86, Faye was still working as a Beautician for a few of her favored clients and would offer her services to the local Funeral homes.
A great believer in higher education even though her family was never able to afford it for her, Faye helped countless numbers of young people, those in her family and many others to achieve that goal. She was a Host Mother to Black students attending Oberlin College and chaired an organization providing scholarships to numerous high school students over the years. Faye also continued her own education in beauty culture, receiving certificates from Advanced Educational Cosmetology Seminars.
An avid believer in service to others, Faye was a member of the United Negro College Fund, the NAACP, the pre-K Survey Committee for Oberlin Schools, and the Eye Screening committee for elementary schools. She was a Deaconess at her cherished Mount Zion Baptist Church and served as 1st Vice President of the Missionary Society and Co-Chair of the pastor’s 30th and 40th anniversary. She also volunteered for the Cancer Fund, Heart Fund, March of Dimes, and the Aids Hot Line. Faye’s uncommon generosity brought to her numerous awards including the Sojourner Truth Award, Woman of the Year, Beautician of the Year, and an Award for Meritorious Service.
Faye was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Jesse Taylor, sisters Dorothy Lowery, Vadie J. Conley, Mable Willis and brother Roy Willis. Faye is survived by her son, Anthony Brown and his fiancee Stacie and their children Leila, Ariel, Tony and Carlos, of Lorain, Ohio, her daughter (niece), Gracie Burke and her husband Kevin and son Ben of Middleboro, Massachusetts, her sister, Lois M. Smith of Sacramento, California, 4 nieces, Loretta, Veronica and Shamicka Lowery, and Jowana Conley, 2 nephews Lawrence Lowery and Lonny Conley, and numerous grand nieces and nephews in Sacramento California, several “adopted” grand children, “play” sisters and brothers, and countless friends.
Graveside services, conducted by Rev Fred L. Bell of Mt, Zion Baptist Church, will be held at the Westwood Cemetery, 455 Morgan St in Oberlin, Ohio at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 9, 2021. A viewing will be held at the Cemetery before the funeral services. Mourners are asked to please wear masks. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to a Scholarship Fund to help black students who will continue their education after high school. This scholarship will be established in honor of Lillie F. Taylor at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Donations may be sent to the Lillie F. Taylor Scholarship Fund, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 47 Locust Street, Oberlin, Ohio 44074. May she rest in peace!
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