It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Constance Sallie (Reichard) Taylor, 94, of Chadds Ford, on the afternoon of July 18.
She passed at home with her daughter Cindy at her side, listening to music and stories of wonderful family times, and following a day-long visit by her four children and other family members.
Constance was born in Allentown on New Year’s Eve 1925 to the late Lulu Lillian (Lichtenwalner) and George Washington Reichard. She was proud of her Pennsylvania Dutch heritage and sometimes her expressions, like “I’m fahoodled!,” reflected those roots. As a teenager, she sang on her Lutheran church choir and enjoyed all the activities of the day, from roller skating to Saturday afternoon movies. She had one brother, George Edgar, who died last year, and a half-sister, the late Elizabeth Brown.
Connie had two great loves in life: her family and music. She graduated in 1947 from West Chester State Teachers College with a B.S. in Music Education. Her instrument was the piano. Her first teaching job was a newly created one – to introduce a music curriculum to rural schools in the Allentown countryside. Her work culminated each spring in an outdoor music festival in which all the schools participated.
Connie married Frederick Taylor of Chadds Ford in June 1949, moved to West Chester and continued teaching for a time, in Coatesville-area schools. She became more involved in church music and learned to play the organ, studying under a West Chester University professor. She was choir director at Brandywine Baptist Church in Chadds Ford, then organist and choir director for many years at Bethlehem Methodist Church in Thornton. She was a Soroptimist member and enjoyed bowling.
She and Fred started their family in 1951, when Frederick Harper Taylor, Jr. was born. Cathy Louise arrived in 1955, Cynthia Jane in 1958 and David George in 1960. She gave up teaching to focus on her children. When we were little, she outdid herself at Christmas, transforming the living room overnight on Christmas Eve into a surprise wonderland on Christmas morning.
Connie encouraged her husband during his work at Ford Motor Co. in Chester, then in his new business, Taylor’s Service Center in Chadds Ford, which they purchased in 1964 and is still family-owned and operated today. In the business’ early days she helped Fred by doing the billing. She also lent Fred a hand in tasks that were much less appealing to her – most notably the hot summer chore of canning and freezing the vegetables and fruits that came from his carefully tended garden. Fred, who called her “Dutch” or “Sallie,” died Dec. 22, 1995.
In her later years, Connie frequently stayed with her daughter, husband and their son in Landenberg and wintered with her daughter in Southern California, where Connie made new and beloved friends. She traveled the United States with Chadds Ford friends and went to Russia, Europe and Mexico with her California friends (Carolyn, Mike, Bryan; Cathy, Peter, Carly). Connie was always ready to pack up and go. Even in recent years, all you had to say was, “would you like to come along …” and the answer was always, “yes!” whether the destination was the movies, Longwood Gardens or the grocery store. She loved going out to dinner. Her last outing, pre-Covid, was to see pianist Jack Marshall at La Verona, where together they sang “Sentimental Journey.”
She loved to talk. Cathy’s high school friends remember her as a good listener, too, always encouraging. And she was competitive. Her grandchildren will tell you when they beat Super G-Mom (aka Nana or Grandmom) at a game, it was always strictly on skill. Don’t expect gimmes from Super G-Mom.
Connie is survived by Fred Taylor, Jr., and his wife Beth and their children, Frederick Harper Taylor III (Laura), Leah (Todd), Sarah (Curtis), William (Dawn), Christine (Nick); Cathy and her partner Robert; Cynthia and her husband Larry and their child Nate and his fiancé Stacie; David and his wife Helen and their children Juliet and Nicklaus. Connie lost a beloved grandchild earlier this year, David George Taylor, Jr., who was always so warm and kind to her and quick with a hug. She is also survived by eight great grandchildren, Frederick Harper Taylor IV, Emily, Sean, Kaitlyn, Charlotte, Eleanor, and Rocco and Enzo.
The family is immeasurably grateful to Dr. Jean Stretton and Nurse Mary Warrener, R.N., of West Chester; the aides from Home Helpers; the nurses, therapists and aides of Holisticare hospice and dear friends Nancy and Jim Bonsall; the Brodoway family; and violinist Andrew Voghts for helping this gentle, musical soul pass peacefully forward.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests support for Community Hospices of America Foundation c/o Holisticare Hospice, 685 Kromer Ave., Berwyn, PA 19312. Online donations may be made at www.chafoundation.net/contribute-online. Please indicate Holisticare Hospice so that funds can be applied to Holisticare patients and their families.
Visitation will be 10:30 a.m., service 11 a.m. Friday, July 24, at Brandywine Baptist Church, 1463 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford. If you wish, wear aqua or turquoise, Connie’s favorite color. Constance will be laid to rest next to her husband at Brandywine Baptist Church cemetery.
Arrangements by Kuzo Funeral Home of Kennett Square, PA.