Sara Nell Gilley Richards Taft, 83, of Williamsburg, died on September 3, 2013, surrounded by her family, after a long struggle with cancer.
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A lifelong Williamsburg resident, Nell was born on June 20, 1930 to the late Edwin Andrus and Gladys Cooley Gilley. She graduated from Matthew Whaley School in 1948 and attended Longwood College in Farmville, VA. She met her first husband, Eugene Leon Richards, while in High School at Matthew Whaley. Gene passed away after 25 years of marriage in 1976. Nell met her second husband Theodore Brown Taft and married in 1979. He passed away in 2004.
Nell loved nature and out-of-doors. An avid bird watcher, she also enjoyed camping and traveling in the family RV's, traversing the U.S., as well as spending many winters in Florida, and summers in New Hampshire. Another passion for Nell was genealogy. She extensively researched her family history, collecting numerous artifacts and documents, and discovering lineage back to five passengers on the Mayflower.
Nell is survived by her daughter Janice Starr Richards of Morrisville, VA, son George Edwin Richards of Chester Gap, VA, son Russell Lee Richards and his wife, Lee of Williamsburg, daughter Katherine Alice Taft and her husband, Patrick Burt of Temple, AZ and two grandchildren, Micah Anthony Cermele of Fayetteville, NC and Sarah Elizabeth Cermele of Myrtle Beach, SC.
The funeral service will be on Saturday, September 7, 10am at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, 1333 Jamestown Rd., Williamsburg, VA 23185, with burial immediately following at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Williamsburg.
In memory of Nell, donations can be made to Hospice House of Williamsburg, 4445 Powhatan Pkwy, Williamsburg, Va. 23188. Online condolences may be offered at www.nelsencares.com.
Published in Virginia Gazette from Sept. 7 to Oct. 6, 2013