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Sherry Taylor, 71, of Wake Forest, NC departed this earthly life on Tuesday November 14, 2023. Funeral to be held Wednesday, 12:00 PM November 22, 2023 at St. Paul AME Church, 402 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC, preceded by a visitation beginning at 11:30 AM, Interment will follow the service at Pinecrest Memorial Park, 12830 US 70 Business HWY West, Clayton, NC, 27520.
The Life of Sherry Ann Taylor
Sherry Ann Taylor (neé) Smith was born on October 31, 1952 in the historically Black neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother Forrest Joye birthed a warm brown chocolate baby who would grow into a lifelong learner, community advocate, and unapologetic follower of Christ.
Over the span of time, Sherry would fulfill many roles and find herself at the center of adventures only a heart and spirit as curious as hers could dream. From being a deeply engaged student to a passionate educator; from a loving daughter to an adored wife and mother; from a high school cheerleader to a dedicated sorority sister of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; from an English major to a volunteer librarian — it was always clear that Sherry contained multitudes.
Living in Brooklyn with her family made her an epicurean for life. As a teenager and young woman, Sherry had a keen awareness of the city’s zeitgeist. She could tell you the best places to eat, what was happening around town, and where to go if you wanted to have a good time. It’s no surprise that as someone who could always cultivate community and make people feel seen, she was on the cheerleading squad at Franklin K. Lane High School.
Sherry’s keen awareness of the world would expand to multifaceted interests that led her through museum galleries, immersed at broadway shows, and of course sun-tanning at Riis Beach with friends.
To know Sherry is to know that it is the coterie of smart women and educators who raised her and fueled Sherry’s appreciation for literature. Her formative years were filled with intellectual curiosity and rigor, leading her to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in English from York College. Aunt Rhoda and cousin Hervie were instrumental in Sherry pledging Delta Sigma Theta. Sisterhood was core to her values and Sherry would be in the practice of sisterhood, always.
In the spring of 1973, Sherry would meet Wilmot Taylor. “He liked me because I had a big ole afro and a mini skirt,” Sherry would say whenever recounting her and Wilmot’s love story. Sherry and Wilmot’s friendship turned to romance that turned into more than four decades of a marriage filled with love, travel, and legacy. In May of 1987, they welcomed their son, Matthew, to the world.
Through ministry at Allen A.M.E Church in Jamaica, NY, Sherry found herself once more building community. She served in many volunteer roles including as a bookkeeper for the Allen Christian School, as an usher, as a stewardess and as a women’s captain which led her to meeting the women who would make up her Divas friend group. From 2002-2014, Sherry served alongside her husband, Rev. Wilmot Taylor, as the First Lady of Flatbush-Tompkins Congregational Church. When she wasn’t dedicating her time to the church, she volunteered as a librarian at Grace Lutheran Day School in Queens Village, NY.
Sherry is survived by her husband Wilmot Taylor, her sister Dawn Smith, her son Matthew Hill Taylor and his wife Shakirah Hill Taylor; her sister-in-law Saundra Taylor Johnson; her nieces Octavia Bell and Adora Smith; and by a host of other family and friends.
The loss of a loved one, especially someone as endearing as Sherry, is devastating. The family invites you to remember her spirit. When you find yourself missing Sherry, remember the infectioness of her laughter; remember her love of Black art; remember the way she unwaveringly adored her husband and son; remember that she could hold space and time in the balance and make you feel like the only person in the room; remember how she told the best stories. Remember that she loved life and lived life well.
In lieu of flowers, we kindly ask you to make a donation to Well-Read Black Girl. Well-Read Black Girl is a nonprofit organization committed to amplifying the voices of Black, Brown, and Indigenous writers. Sherry was an educator and an avid reader, and had recently joined the Well-Read Black Girl community. Should you choose to donate, please dedicate your donation in memory of Sherry.
Here is the full donation link to include:https://secure.givelively.org/donate/well-read-black-girl
Live streaming :
St. Paul AME website: www.stpaulamechurchraleighnc.org/live