Lena Mildred Taylor, 94, was welcomed at her Heavenly Home at 10:08 a.m. Thursday, 3 August 2017 at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois. She had been a resident of Bowman Estates in Danville, Illinois. She was born in January of 1923 to John Elmer Loyd Burrus and Beulah Pearl Bender in Peoria, Illinois.
Most of Lena’s young life was spent in the hills of the Missouri Ozarks. Attending school was impeded by not having shoes or coats and by her father’s moving the family around in search of work to support his wife and seven children. As a result Lena did not finish grammar school, but that did not hinder her in becoming a wise and knowledgeable woman. Family and friends have admired her through her life for the knowledge she had of God’s word and the wisdom she could impart when asked for guidance. The Bible was her favorite book, and her favorite pastime was reading it.
Lena met the love of her life when her family moved to Danville, Illinois in 1938; they were next-door neighbors. In March of 1939 she and Virgil LeRoy Taylor, Jr. were married in Danville. Their marriage commenced a love story that was interrupted with the death of her husband sixty-seven years later. She was a faithful minister’s wife, serving the Lord alongside her husband at Palermo Baptist Church in Sidell, Illinois; Vermilion Chapel Regular Baptist Church in Danville, Illinois; and Oak Grove Baptist Church in Bethany, Illinois.
To them were born five children. Four survive her: Dorothy Louise (Jerry) Gritton of Decatur, Illinois; Sondra Sue (Mike) DeRaps of Arkansas; Donna Jane Edington of Danville, Illinois; and Robert Scott (Brenda) of Atwood, Illinois. Surviving also are eleven grandchildren, twenty-seven great-grandchildren, and eleven great-great-grandchildren; and brother-in-law, Larry (Pat) Taylor of Oregon. She has now joined those family members who preceded her: her parents, her husband, infant daughter Sandra Ann, son-in-law Ronald Lee Edington, granddaughter Lisa Marie (Edington) Lawyer, two great-grandsons Brent Shaw and Jacob Martin Allen, and six siblings.
She will be honored by her family at private graveside services at Sunset Cemetery in Danville, Illinois, with Reverend David Brown, Pastor of Central Baptist Church in Decatur, Illinois, officiating. Memorials may be sent to Central Baptist Church, 945 S. Jasper Street, Decatur, Illinois. Tanzyus-Logan Funeral Service and Care of Decatur is in charge of arrangements