The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

Mary J Taylor


September 2, 2020

Mary J. Taylor, 78, passed away due to natural causes at Sweet Memorial Nursing Home on Tuesday, August 11, 2020. Cremation has taken place, and memorial services will be held when Mary’s friends and family are able to gather to celebrate her life. Memorial donations may be made in her memory to the Harlem Public Library. Holland & Bonine Funeral Home has been entrusted with services and arrangements. Please visit Mary’s online memorial page and leave a message of condolence for her family at

Mary was born on September 24, 1941, in Roscoe, Texas, to John J. and Harriet A. (McBurnett) McDonald. She was raised in Sweetwater and Port Arthur, graduating from Port Arthur High School in 1960 with Janis Joplin who signed her yearbook. She immediately began to attend Baylor University, graduating from there with a Bachelors degree in business administration in 1963. In 1965, the adventurous Mary drove her Mustang to Montana for her first teaching job in Nashua. While teaching, Mary also worked as a bartender and piano player at Vick’s Bar where she met William Taylor, who was stationed at the Air Force base in Glasgow. The couple began dating, and in 1967, they married in Libby. Mary continued to teach for many years, while the couple lived in Bozeman, Billings, and Polson, which is where Mary began working at Salish Kootenai College and when she received her Masters degree in education administration. While at Salish Kootenai College, she discovered her passion which led to her devotion for tribal colleges. They relocated once again, this time to Harlem in 1991, where Mary worked at Aaniiih Nakoda College, this time as an instructor and administrator. She remained there for many years until her retirement. After retirement, she missed her much beloved college families.

Mary was an avid reader who loved books and adding to her ever-growing library and enjoyed sunbathing. She served on the Harlem Public Library Board after her retirement and loved every minute of it. She loved her children and grandchildren, and was so very proud of all of their accomplishments, but her greatest love was her husband Bill. They enjoyed taking little trips to find a new restaurant, and time spent together was treasured. In the past few years, Mary and Bill welcomed their great-granddaughter Scarlett, and she was the light of their lives.

She was preceded in death by her husband Bill Taylor in 2019; parents, John and Harriet McDonald; sister, Edna McDonald; and brother, Charles McDonald.

Mary is survived by her children, James “Scott” Taylor and Audrey Rae Taylor, both of Harlem; grandchildren, Brandon, Joshua (Sarah), Thyme, Franki, and Kendra Taylor, Carrigan (Dale) Cummings, and Emma, Curtis, and Michael Anne Humphreys; great-granddaughter, Scarlett Cummings; sister, Doris Darnell of Austin, Texas; and a few nieces and nephews.


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