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Bertha Marie Sparrow Taylor

Bertha Marie Sparrow Taylor was born the eldest of seven children, on April 18, 1933, to William David Sparrow and Marie Barnes Sparrow, in Nansemond County. A lifelong member of the Suffolk community, she departed this life on Monday morning, April 29, 2019, at her home. She was predeceased by her parents; husband, John Henry Taylor; sisters, Willie Mae Sparrow and Princess Lee Sparrow; and brothers, John David Sparrow and Fred Daniel Sparrow.

After graduating from East Suffolk High School in 1951, she continued her education at Norfolk State University. A prolific writer, avid reader and enthusiast for education, she assisted instructional staff and students in her many years with the Suffolk Public School system. Their affirmative remembrances of Mrs. Taylor are reflective of her pedagogical approach, patience, guidance, love and support she shared with them. Never relinquishing her bind to education, after retirement, she joined Suffolk’s Retired Teachers’ Association and became a heritage member of the East Suffolk High School Alumni Association.

A devout member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, she contributed tirelessly to its Christian work. In addition to serving as a Vestry member, she was a member of and served in various leadership roles with the Choir, Alta Guild, Episcopal Church Women (ECW), Outreach Committee, Hospitality Committee and Sunday school. As a sponsor, she helped to develop and implement youth activities, including that of the Episcopal Youth Committee and teaching in Vacation Bible School.

Memories of Bertha will be cherished by her devoted sister, Lucille S. Dildy, of Suffolk; brother and sister-in-law, William Levi and Marian Sparrow, of Rochelle Park, N.J.; sister-in-law, Geraldine Sparrow, of Aurora, Colo.; constant in-law and friend, Claudia Sparrow Hill, of Suffolk; aunt, Magdalena Barnes, of Suffolk; godson, Cole Barnes, of Hampton; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives. Her family is joined in cherishing memories of Mrs. Taylor by uncountable former colleagues, church members, neighbors and other friends, including Gloria Colbert, Paulette Goodwyn, Maxine Thornton and Christine Banks.

A wake will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Sunday, May 5, 2019, in the Melvin J. Blowe Chapel of Crocker Funeral Home, Suffolk. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Monday, May 6, 2019, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 142 Tynes St., Suffolk, with the Rev. Dr. Derek Pringle officiating. Entombment will be at Carver Memorial Mausoleum and Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, remembrance donations for Bertha Taylor, to the ECW or Outreach Committee of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, will be acknowledged by her family. Professional services with dignity have been entrusted to Crocker Funeral Home Inc.