LUCILE MAE TAYLOR

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TAYLOR, LUCILE MAE

Lucile Mae Nitsche Taylor was born in Chicago on October 9, 1925. Her parents were Arthur Herman Nitsche and Erna Willman Nitsche. At an early age she studied ballet under famed dancing teacher Edna McCrae. Through Edna, Lucile had opportunities to dance in choruses for professional ballets when they were performed in Chicago Theater, and she also danced with other groups around Chicago. What a thrilling time for a teenager! Lucile was an excellent student and was the valedictorian of her class at Taft High School, a large new school on the north side of Chicago.

When Lucile entered Purdue University she continued her academic excellence. As a freshman she was one of only three students in the entire university to obtain a perfect grade point average of 6.0, and she graduated with highest honors in 1947 with a degree in Child Psychology. While an undergraduate at Purdue, Lucile joined the Pi Beta Phi Sorority, where she acquired her nickname Nikki. She also danced and sang with the Purdue Musical Organization (PMO). In addition she was an original member of the Purduettes, an all girl choir formed to replace the men's glee club because of the shortage of men on campus during WWII.

While at Purdue she also met her future husband Charles E. (Chuck) Taylor and they were married on August 28, 1946. They had two sons, Gary Arthur Taylor (1952) and Glenn Charles Taylor (1956). For the next few years Nikki was a stay-at-home mom and a supportive housewife. However when both sons were in elementary school, she resumed her own education and earned a Masters Degree at the University of Illinois.

In 1956 Nikki became a member of the Baha'i Faith and spent the rest of her life working tirelessly to promote world peace and the fair treatment of all people regardless of their race or ethnic background. She found a curriculum called Full-Circle Learning. It had a remarkable record of inspiring and uplifting young students in California. Nikki led several teams to explain and promote the curriculum at Gainesville schools.

Lucile Taylor is survived by a very proud husband of 66 years, two sons Gary and Glenn, daughters-in-law Amy Taylor and Donna Taylor, sister Arlys Gale, brothers-in-law Bill Taylor and Jack Gale, granddaughter Lauren Taylor, grandson Michael Taylor, step grandchildren Lisa Richards and Tom Swain, step great grandchildren Christopher Richards, Timothy Richards, and Ashlee Nicole Richards.

Published in Gainesville Sun from May 8 to May 9, 2013
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