Obituary of Vera Ann Taylor
Vera Catalano Taylor died from the effects of dementia at Lantern Hill in New Providence, NJ. Her late husband of 60 years, Nelson L. Taylor predeceased her at the age of 90 in 2020. Vera enjoyed over 87 years as a tour de force. She is survived by sons Thomas (Jennifer Canfield) James (m. Susan Kiley ) and daughter Patricia (m. Robert Peacock) and 8 grandchildren, Kate, Ali, Margy, Jack, Emily, Jane, Anna, and Josephine.
Vera possessed a special way of greeting her loved ones. She would sing to the tune of “Hello Dolly” using your name. Ending with a rousing, “You are the best of all the rest oh yes, oh yes,” all while performing her signature dance moves.
Vera, who was the most loving of mothers, lost her own mom when she was five. After the death of his young wife, it was challenging for her father, Phillip, to take care of this brood of 5 while working full-time. Fortunately, he met a woman who could see that these children needed a mother. Phillip married Anna Rizzo, who was truly one of the loves of Vera’s life, a stepmother who defied all the stereotypes.
Vera, a proud Italian-American, also broke barriers when she fell in love with Nelson “Buddy” Taylor. She was an instructor at Fred Astaire Dance school and the school asked their instructors to use an alias to thwart unwanted suitors. Her alias Vera Desmond did not deter Buddy from falling in love. They married on 1/16/1960 and they happily settled into parenthood of Thomas, James, and then Patricia in Clark, NJ.
While she did not come from a family that could afford college, Vera took adult education courses and was a lifelong learner. She was an accomplished bridge player who loved teaching others and even wrote a Bridge column in the newsletter of Four Seasons, her post-retirement community.
Vera and Buddy moved to Lantern Hill in 2019 in order to live closer to their children and grandchildren. Spending time with family, playing bridge, gardening, dancing to Kool & the Gang, and making new friends were her favorite pursuits. She saw at least one family member every day during her final years. They visited not out of obligation but out of love for her company. She was the best of all the rest, oh yes, oh yes!
Family and friends are invited to visit on March 10 from 5-7pm at the Gallaway and Crane Fuenral Home, 101 South Finley Ave, Basking Ridge, NJ
Liturgy of Christian burial will be held on March 11 at 10AM at the Church of St. James, 184 South Finley Ave, Basking Ridge, NJ. Interment will be private.
Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider a donation in Vera's name to the CHA Foundation c/o Hospice of New Jersey, 400 Broadacres Dr, 1st Floor, Bloomfield, NJ 07003