Rachel H.E. Taylor-Young (nee Williams) was born on April 5, 1936 in Freetown, Sierra Leone to Regina Jenkins and Taiwo Williams. She attended the Methodist Girls High School. While in high school, she met Adeyemi Taylor-Young who later became her husband, and together they raised five children – Sarah, Judith, Marvel, Isa and June, as well as her dearest niece, Adeline.
She was a talented dressmaker and worked as a cashier at Paterson Zochonis (PZ), Kingsway, Intra Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) before relocating to the United States in 1985. While in the U.S., she worked as a caregiver, and later as a store clerk at the Rite Aid store, located at Pennsylvania Ave, Washington DC, until her retirement in 2007. She lived independently for many years, with her daughter and beloved son-in-law, Isa and Horatio (Bowie, MD), and later relocated to Tampa, Florida, where she lived with her other daughter, Judith, until the time of her death on March 4, 2020.
She was a member of the Allen Chapel AME Church in Silver Spring, Maryland and Mount Tabor Missionary Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida. She always found comfort in her strong faith in God.
Throughout her life Rachel forged friendships with people of different backgrounds, race and creed, young and old. She was a kind soul, but also known for her sharp tongue and stubborn streak. She did not shy away from speaking her mind. She loved to sing and dance and actively engaged in conversations. Some of her favorite artists included Frank Sinatra, Dolly Patton, Barbra Streisand and Jim Reeves. Even though she suffered from debilitating arthritis on both legs, that did not stop her from dancing to a good African or gospel beat, often securing her walker, while rocking her hips with her hands behind her back. She sung her favorite songs in alto. She also loved to be fashionably dressed and adorn herself with a sweet-smelling perfume and nice jewelry, including rings on most of her fingers, a watch, and several gold chains. She did not believe in saving things for a special occasion, as she would often say “Tomorrow is not promised.”
Her greatest legacy is her love for people, especially her children and grandchildren, whom she made many sacrifices for. She was jovial, funny, very generous, both in kind and in heart, always giving gifts.
Rachel was preceded in death by her husband, Adeyemi Taylor-Young, her sister, Christiana Williams, and her granddaughter Tanya Muhammad (nee Porter). She is survived by her children, 11 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren, several nieces and nephews, sisters-in-laws, special people in Florida who were a great support to her, including family friend and her doctor, Dr. Walwin Metzger, her caregiver, Cynthia Salter, Laurine and Virgil Jacobs, Aki Bull, Joya Rogers, Ayo Gabbidon, Eric and Anita Turner, Syl and Agatha Harding and Crispin and Sylvia Cole; and by other surviving relatives in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and in the United States.
We already miss her dearly. May her soul rest in peace.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rachel H.E. Taylor-Young, please visit our floral store.