Raising a Family
Mary Ann married Clifton Linwood Taylor, Jr., (nicknamed Lin) after two years at Catawba College; she was 20 years old when they wed on August 28, 1954. Mary Ann and Lin grew up next door to each other from the time Lin moved to her neighborhood when Mary Ann was five years old, so they knew each other well. Mary Ann says that she remembers when Lin moved in next door, and she was disappointed that it was a boy who was three years older than her, instead of a girl playmate who was closer to her age.
Mary Ann and Lin started dating in high school, and after a few years of seriously dating on and off, they both knew that they had found the person they wanted to marry. They had a big, traditional wedding with all of their family present, and her mother hand-made all the dresses for the women in the wedding party. Mary Ann described Lin as adventurous and considerate at the time of their wedding. They were married in Charlotte, NC, since it was both of their hometowns, but they moved to Chapel Hill, NC, together right away.
After her husband got his degree in business marketing with a concentration in movies, radio, and television from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, they returned to Charlotte in the spring of 1956. By this time, their first daughter, Sandra (nicknamed Sandy), had been born on February 19, 1956.
A little over a year later, their second daughter, Janet, was born on September 4, 1957. Their third and final child, a son named Mark, was born on September 16, 1959. Mary Ann says she absolutely loved staying home with her children as they were growing up.
Lin worked at Channel 9 in Charlotte for seven years after graduating from Chapel Hill, but realized that he would not be able to progress in the entertainment field without moving to a larger location like Los Angeles, CA, or New York City, NY. Neither he nor Mary Ann were willing to move away from their families and hometown, so he decided that he would move on to another life passion, teaching. Their family returned to Chapel Hill in 1963 so that Lin could get his teaching certificate, then moved back to Charlotte in 1964. They moved back into the same house and stayed there until 1970, when they moved to a house on Lake Norman.
Lin taught at North Mecklenburg high school for the majority of his career. One highlight was his work in creating the TAPS (Teenage Pregnancy Service) program so that high-school aged girls who became pregnant could still graduate. TAPS provided prenatal care and other social services.
Mary Ann says that her parenting style was very similar to that of her own parents’. Her husband’s philosophy was that a primary parenting responsibility was to ensure that all three children learned to swim, read, and drive a car. Mary Ann and Lin mutually agreed to never disagree in front of children. Thus they settled their own differences in an argument privately so that they could always present a united front.
Click below to hear an audio clip of Mary Ann discussing her and Lin’s parenting style..
Mary Ann and Lin loved sailing, so they would often sail on Lake Norman with their children and other friends.
Sandy Taylor went to Appalachian State, and is now married with two sons. She worked as an elementary school teacher for 30 years and now lives in Cornelius, NC.
Janet Taylor also went to Appalachian State, then worked at the Charlotte Observer for 10 years until becoming a caretaker for elderly individuals. She now lives in Cornelius, NC.
Mark Taylor now lives in Orlando, FL, with his wife and two children. He and his wife met while performing in the water ski show at Sea World in Orlando, FL. They have acquired rental property by fixing up run down houses, in addition to managing a lawn business.
Mary Ann and her extended family continue to gather often in Lenoir, NC, for family reunions. A few years ago, she discovered a new addition to the family that she has been very grateful for! Mary Ann and her sisters were always under the impression that they had two first cousins, since one of her uncles had died young and never married. This uncle lived with his mother while he played professional baseball, but tragically died in a train wreck around the age of 30. Recently in 2009, a man in Lenoir approached her cousin, who now lives in their maternal grandparents’ old house, and asked if she had an uncle named Charles Sullivan who played professional baseball. There had been a woman who was in town and was looking for his grave, and was claiming that he was her father. That summer, her cousin got in touch with the woman and it turned out her uncle had been with a woman who helped his mother with work around the house, and she had a child that was kept a secret from the rest of the family. Now that Mary Ann’s family has discovered this new connection, they love getting to spend time with their new cousin and her family!