January 25, 1935-
February 17, 2013
Columbus, GA- Maretta Mitchell Taylor 78, of 1203 Bunker Hill Road, Columbus, GA peacefully left this life Sunday February 17, 2013 at her residence surrounded by her loving family. Funeral services will be held 11:00AM Friday February 22, 2013 at Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, 4400 Old Cusseta Road with the Pastor Rev. James C. Harris officiating. Interment will follow at Green Acres Cemetery according to Hill-Watson-People's Funeral Service LLC . Visitation will be from 4:00PM-8:00PM today Thursday February 21, 2013 at the church. Mrs. Taylor was born on January 25, 1935 to the union of the late Mr. and Mrs. Zedic Deaner James. Maretta confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior at a young age and became a life member of Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church. She served as Youth Director, Assistant Youth Director and Sunday School Teacher. She was also a member of the Missionary Circle, Matrons Circle #1 and worked faithfully on the Kitchen and Nursery Committees. Maretta, was educated in the Muscogee County School System, where she was an excellent student. She was a 1953 graduate of William H. Spencer High School. She received her Bachelors of Science Degree from Albany State College, Albany, Georgia in 1957 and later received her Masters of Science Degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. Maretta was united in Holy Matrimony to the love of her life the late Jessie J. Taylor on June 30, 1974. Maretta's love of learning continued with 30 years as a teacher and media specialist. She retired from William H. Spencer High School in 1987. She was the first African American woman elected to the Georgia House District 94 now District 134. State representative Taylor was named by Governor Barnes to a Special House Study panel on information technology in connection with public libraries and technical institutes. She also served as Vice Chairman of the House Education Committee and was a member of the Children and Youth Special Judiciary and Intra Governmental Coordination Committees. She also served as Secretary of Georgia Legislature Black Caucus and as Co-Chair of the Women's Legislative Caucus. One of Maretta's proudest moments was in the movement of the Tenth Street Community Center to John B. Amos Estate on Steam Mill Road. For more than 40 years, she provided decisive and effective leadership and service to her local community, the state and nationally through a wide range of viable organization and groups to include: Albany State National Alumni Association, Columbus Alumni Chapter, Albany State University - Assault on Illiteracy Program, Camellian's Social Club, Cancer Fund Drive, Columbus Alumnae Chapter - Delta Sigma Theta Sorority - (Past Chapter President - Lifetime Member), Columbus Community Center (Past President of the Board of Directors), Columbus Georgia Chapter Links, Inc., Compatibles Social Club, Designer's Limited-Owner and Manager, Easter Seals Drive - (Chairperson), Georgia Heart Fund Drive, Girl Scouts of America, Licensed Funeral Director State of Georgia, March of Dimes Committee, Mayor's Social Action Committee, Miss Albany State - 1956, Springer Children's Theater Member, The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc., (Local President, Governor of the State of Georgia, National Director of Communication)United Negro College Fund Committee, United Way Planning Committee, Interim President and CEO of the Columbus Urban League -Urban League Guild Member and Officer, Voter Registration Drives Chairperson, YMCA Board Member. Muscogee County Election and Voter Regristration Board. She has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, which include: 2000 Legislature Appreciation Award (Georgia Association for Primary Health Care), Fifty Most Influential African American in Columbus (A.J. McClung YMCA), Leadership 2000 (The Kellogg Company), Legacy of Leadership Award, Outstanding Legislator of the Year - 2000 (Professional Association of Georgia Educators), Outstanding Young Woman of America, Professional Woman of the Year (Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Sojourner Truth Award (NANB & PW Clubs, Inc.), The Rosa Parks Award (Columbus PUSH), Woman of Achievement (Concharity Council of Girl Scouts, Inc.), Woman of the Year (Columbus /Chattahoochee Valley B&PW Clubs)Gracious Ladies of Georgia. She was preceded in death by her sister, Johnnie Mae Jones. She leaves to cherish her legacy, her three brothers, William McCornell of Riverdale, Georgia; Reginald (Betty) Jones of Alexandria, VA, Robert Deaner James of Atlanta, Georgia; three sisters, Henrietta J. Gunn of Riverdale, Georgia; Zeddie J. (Rev. Jimmie) Hall of Conyers, Georgia and Ann Carolyn James of Columbus, Georgia; two devoted daughters, Florene Dawkins and Hilda Govan-Harris both of Columbus, Georgia ; one aunt, Eddie Mae Lewis of Columbus, Georgia; a brother-in-law, J. B. Jones of Columbus, Georgia;godmother, Louise Collins, Columbus, Georgia; 10 nieces, 3 nephews, 9 great nieces, 14 great nephews; a devoted cousin, John(Edna) James of Omaha, Nebraska; caring loved ones, Sherman (Margie) Woodley, Patricia Rivers and Family, Mary Isham, Greg (Betty) Crayton, Marcellus and Sandra Smith, Edith McCray, Charlie and Sharon Carter and a host of other relatives and friends.
Published in Columbus Ledger-Enquirer on Feb. 21, 2013