Roberta Brown Taylor of Newtown Square, PA, died at home in Dunwoody Village on January 10, 2023. Just days earlier she had turned 103, which she celebrated on a Zoom call with 25 of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews from around the U.S.
She was born in 1919 in Newport, RI, to Frederick A. and Anna White Brown. After graduation from Rogers High School, she attended the Katharine Gibbs School in Providence. Then, as a secretary working at the Army base at Fort Adams in Newport, she met Robert Lee Taylor, who was stationed there. Four months later, right after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he received orders to transfer immediately to Alaska to open a port. They married with just 10 days’ notice in January 1942. Their marriage would last 50 years until his death in May 1992.
Roberta, also known as “Bert,” lived in Seattle while “Bob” was in Alaska, and she returned to family in Newport when he was transferred to England to work on the planning for D-Day. By the end of the war, she had given birth to two daughters, and the family settled near close relatives in suburban Philadelphia so that Bob could work in the Taylor family tugboat business. A third child, a son, was born in Bywood. There, and later in Drexel Hill, Roberta was a homemaker, volunteer for children’s activities, member of the women's club and the church choir, gardener, and accomplished needlecrafter, specializing in sewing, needlepoint, and hooked rugs.
For the past 20 years Roberta has lived at Dunwoody Village, where she enjoyed many friendships and appreciated the care from the staff. She managed the Resale Shop for several years. She also was a competitive Scrabble player and a voracious reader of books and the Wall Street Journal -- every day until six months ago. She was a lifelong beachgoer, and the family enjoyed spending time in Newport, RI; Bethany Beach, DE; and Ocean City, NJ.
Roberta is survived by her three children: Nancy Taylor Butler (Edward) of Tinton Falls, NJ; Susan Taylor Simons (Robert) of Port St. Lucie, FL, and Ballston Lake, NY; and Robert Lee Taylor Jr. of Media, PA; her six grandchildren: Kim Young (Matt), Jennifer Simons, Laura Simons, Jeff Butler (Evelyne), Greg Butler, and Katie Butler (Thorsteinn Arbjornsson); her seven great-grandchildren, with whom she loved playing UNO: Savanna Butler, Corinne Butler, Evan Butler, Samana Young, Taylor Young, Freya Butler, and Signy Butler; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
She was the sister of the late Beulah Brown McBee, Frederick Brown, Albert Brown, Stanley Brown, and Ruth Betty Brown Petersen.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, January 17, at 11 a.m. at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, Bryn Mawr, PA. Burial will follow at Valley Forge Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, donations to The National Kidney Foundation would be appreciated.