Irene Margot Taylor of Philadelphia passed away peacefully in her home, with her son by her side, on March 13, 2023. Irene was born on July 22, 1928 in the rural town of Brötzingen, Germany to Paul Karl and Hedwig Marie Gaenzle. She emigrated with her parents at 3 years old during the German depression and returned to Germany from the ages of 6 to 8. She emigrated permantly to the United States at the age of 8. Her family settled in Queens where she attended public schools, and later moved to White Plains, NY. It was in grade school that she met her lifelong best friend, Ingrid from Sweden, who became her children's Godmother.
Irene enjoyed school and excelled at academics. She became the first in her family to attend college. While she initially considered attending the Westchester Conservatory to study classical piano, she eventually decided on a different major and attended Park College, Missouri, as a chemistry major. She also played basketball. She graduated with a degree in chemistry, and after graduation she and a friend toured Europe by bike for several months. Afterwards Irene moved back to White Plains where she worked as a chemist for Burroughs Welcome. It was there that she met and married her husband, Lewis Taylor. They moved to Minnesota for Lewis's graduate work, and then to Philadelphia where he became Personnel Director for the City. Together they raised their three children there. Irene went back to work in midlife, and after taking refresher courses at Manor College, she worked for the Philadelphia Water Department as a chemist for over a decade. There she developed the Taste and Odor Panel with the aim of responding to customer complaints and improving water quality.
In retirement, she was never idle. Irene’s passion for playing piano continued. She played classical music as well as learning to play ragtime. She was an enthusiastic Sixers fan, sang with the Sweet Adeline’s, played in the church’s bell choir, and tap danced with The Toe Tappers. Together, she and Lew enjoyed square dancing, singing in the church choir and barbershop gospel quartet, attending plays, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, gardening, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. She especially cherished time with her grandchildren.
Irene was a devoted wife to her husband Lewis Sheldon Taylor (late) and a devoted mother to her daughter Janet Elizabeth Taylor (late). She is survived by her children, Paul Taylor and Patricia Lowry, and two grandchildren, Samantha and Andrew Lowry. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2023 in the chapel of Somerton United Methodist Church, 13073 Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia PA. There will be a time for visitation with family at 10:30AM, followed by a formal service at 11AM. All are invited to a luncheon to be held following the service.
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