Irene Florence Taylor (Robinson) was born in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada on February 15, 1923. She was the daughter of Mae (Reid) and Thomas Robinson. She was predeceased by her brothers and sisters: Irving, Harry, Evelyn, Vera, Jean, and Tommy, and would often identify herself as one who “was born in a hospital and not on at home.”
At the age of 22, Irene married her first husband, Percy. Sadly, Percy unexpectedly passed nine-months after they were married. As a result, Irene decided to start a new life for herself by moving to the States. In doing so, she met Francis Eugene Taylor, and they were married in the First Baptist Church of Belmont on July 2, 1949. Gene and Irene were married 54 years before he passed away in 2004.
In 1964, Irene and Gene moved to Waltham where they bought a two-bedroom home on Longfellow Road. The small, 700-square foot home was always open to whoever needed a place to stay or for Bentley students to store their belongings between semesters. Irene loved opening up her home to friends and family, she was always prepared to host a meal with Brigham’s ice cream for dessert, and she had a bed prepared in case someone wanted to spend the night.
The same was true at “Camp” on Lake Massasecum, in Bradford, NH. Whoever came to visit was greeted with a warm welcome, invited to spend the day on the beach, enjoy a meal, and spend the night. Irene especially enjoyed the late night card games with everyone gathered round the kitchen table. She also loved a good game of Scrabble; more often then not, she would win the game.
Irene viewed her Waltham neighbors as an extension of her family and would watch each one’s coming and going. When they were away, she would keep an eye on their property. Over the years, she appreciated everyone taking the time to check in on her, share a meal or lend a hand. She especially enjoyed the neighborhood children. In the summer, she would put on her lipstick and visit their lemonade stand for a cold drink.
Irene was an active member of the First Baptist Church, she worked on many church suppers, fairs and women’s fellowship events. She developed and maintained many wonderful friendships throughout the years.
Irene worked at Bentley College for over 30 years. She started out in the Faculty Dining Room and knew her customers so well, that she often had their lunches prepared for them prior to their asking. She transitioned from the food services to the Office of Career Planning and Placement. She enjoyed working with the students and assisting them with obtaining internships and first-time jobs. She would often marvel, “If they only knew: I went to school in a one-room classroom and I only completed grade eight!”
Irene’s greatest joy was her family and was proud of their accomplishments: her oldest daughter, Nancy and her husband Tom Flanagan and her youngest daughter Nadine and her husband, Michael Amato. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren: Michael and Brooke Flanagan and their three children: Tommy, Kat and McKayla. Daniel Flanagan and the tremendous effort he puts into studying to be a doctor. David Taylor and his son, Damon. Her granddaughter Melissa and Steve Fischer and their two sons: Prescott and Coby. Christina and her husband Andrew Turner and their two sons: Chase and Liam. Irene also had a very special granddaughter relationship with Katie Minetti. While Irene never had any sons of her own, she truly loved the Keeler boys and their families as though they were her own.
Irene’s love language was acts of kindness; she enjoyed cooking, sending cards and spending time with people, whether it be a phone call or a visit. She was most famous for her coconut cream pie, apple pie, brownies, chocolate chip cookies and apricot squares.
Irene had a great sense of humor, loved to shop and travel. She was always up for trip and considered herself very blessed to return to Canada in 2015 to her old homestead, and reunite with friends and family, especially her childhood friend, Myrtle. In her later years, when it became more difficult to keep up with everyone and travel, Irene enjoyed spending time on her iPad checking out FaceBook and liking people’s pictures.
Irene was many things to many people and will be fondly remembered as: “Ma,” “Mum,” “Gram,” “Grammy Irene,” Great Grammy Irene,” “Grandma Reenie,” “Auntie Irene,” “Auntie Pie-Rene,” “Mrs. Taylor,” and “The Queen.”
Friends and family are invited to a Celebration of Life Service at the First Baptist Church, 129 Lexington Street, Belmont on Saturday, May 21st at 11:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a charity of your choice.