Folsom Funeral Service

Taylor, Elaine L. (Hevener)

Elaine L. (Hevener) Taylor died April 21st, 2011, in Dedham, MA. Born on October 20, 1927, Elaine grew up with her parents, Osborn and Hazel, in Maplewood, NJ and spent summers with her Aunt Maude and Uncle Sheldon at the Brownson farm in Shelton, Connecticut. She graduated from Columbia High School in Maplewood in 1945 and Wellesley College in 1949. After college, she married Doug Leander of Millburn NJ. They lived in Chatham, NJ and had four children. While married to Doug, Elaine was a homemaker and volunteer. Doug was killed in the Bonanza Airlines crash of flight 114 in November, 1964.

In 1965, Elaine moved her family into New York City, settling on Washington Place in Greenwich Village. Elaine attended New York University, and got a degree in teaching. She became a teacher’s aide at St. Luke’s School, where three of her children attended school.

Since the 1950’s, Elaine had been taking her family to Wellfleet, Massachusetts each summer. In 1969, she built a house overlooking Wellfleet Harbor. Her house, The Plover Cottage, served as a central focus for her whole life. She loved to vacation each summer with family there, and have friends visit. Cocktail hours and sunsets accompanied friends, conversation, and laughter on the porch of the Wellfleet house.

In 1970, she met Howard Taylor, who had lost his wife and was also raising four children. On April 3rd, 1971, Howard & Elaine married, and she adopted his children into her heart. She and Howard moved to Madison, NJ where they lived until 2007. While in Madison, Elaine worked at the Arts Council of the Morris Area, and for several years ran the “Very Special Expo.”  Elaine also volunteered extensively. Her volunteer activities included the Marionette Players (a group which performed to raise money for charity) and The Grace Counseling Center. 
Elaine’s husband Howard passed away on March 19th of this year. Elaine is survived by her children: Michael Leander, Tom (Rose) Leander, David Taylor, John Leander, Debbie  (Brad) Watters, Beth (Stow) Lovejoy, Ellen (Kevin Morison) Leander, and Joan (Tim) Flagler and 17 grandchildren, Mike (Lisa), Julia, Jennifer, Mary Rose, William, Chris  (Jill), Danielle, Sam, Alex, Stephen, Ruth, Nick, Frank, Carl, Drew, Grace, and Abigail, and a great-grand daughter, Nina. As well, she is survived by her cousin Helen and many loving friends.

Elaine’s life had many blessings. Happy marriages, beloved children, wonderful grandchildren, a great-granddaughter, Maplewood friends, Madison friends, and other friends and family, museums, the theatre, travel, poetry classes, spring weeks in Barbados with Bill and Jeanne and summers in Wellfleet with the Muffins – this is only the beginning of the list of Elaine’s good fortune. She shared her joy of life and optimistic outlook with all she knew.

A truly unusual quality of Elaine’s was a sense of kindness that most remarked upon and all felt in her presence. Not only did she never talk badly of anyone but she possessed that rare quality of making anyone who came into contact with her feel hope and a sense of reassurance. This stemmed from Elaine’s compassionate nature but also seemed a God given talent. Her children felt touched by this quality, and also her friends, students, acquaintances and even strangers.

She will be missed for many reasons, especially her boundless love, her resilient character, her compassionate nature, and her sense of humor.
A memorial service will be held on May 21st at 12:30 p.m. at Grace Church, Madison, New Jersey.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to
The Arts  Council of the Morris Area
14 Maple Ave., Suite 301
Morristown, NJ 07960,
The Chapel of St. James the Fisherman – Outreach Fund
Post Office Box 1334
Wellfleet, MA 02667.

Guestbook Entries

  1. Amy Colley
    April 24th, 2011 | 8:33 am

    Ellen, I did not know your mother but it sounds like she lived life fully and was dearly loved. I remember Beth going to Wellfleet with you in the summer and it being a very special place and sharing some of that experience on your wedding day. I’m so sorry you lost both parents so close together. I am thinking of you and will say a prayer for you and your family today in church on Easter.

    Much love,

  2. Kevin Morison
    April 25th, 2011 | 12:53 am

    Mom was a truly beautiful person who loved to love … her friends (in NJ, Cape Cod, the Muffins, et. al.); her marionette troupe and other work with children; her summers (and sunsets) at the Cape; her dogs and cats; her trips to Barbados, Europe, Lake Louise; her little treats (which she always wanted to share with others); and, above all, her family, of which I am so blessed to be a part. All of our lives — and especially those of the grandchildren — have been enriched by your love. We miss you, Mom.

  3. Danielle Watters
    April 25th, 2011 | 11:59 am

    I am thinking of the woman who taught me to wear big, fabulous jewelry, to comb the beaches for heather and seaglass, to show love through nicknames, to respect the wisdom of cats, to yearn for foreign lands but also for the comfort of a hammock and a novel. My Grandma understood the deep love and joy of family- I will miss her dearly!

  4. Chris Watters
    April 25th, 2011 | 12:58 pm

    Never did eyes twinkle so merrily as when Elaine Taylor was in the company of her grandchildren. And while that wonderful woman has passed away, she lives on through those whose lives she buoyed and brightened with her generous, loving spirit. I love you and I miss you, Grandma.

  5. Michael Leander
    April 25th, 2011 | 6:49 pm

    Our Mom was a dear, kind, loving person, always emphasizing the positive and was unerringly devoted to her family. Yesterday was Easter, and as I colored Easter eggs, I thought back to my first memories of doing that on Saturday nights before Easter with my Mom and Dad and siblings. As I remember the breadth of our lives with Elaine, I think of the many, many wonderful times we shared. The Thanksgiving dinners, birthday parties, Christmases. And the strength of character Mom showed after Doug died is legend. Like we always said to each other, Mom – I’m holding you in my heart.
    Love you Mamushka

  6. April 25th, 2011 | 7:24 pm

    Elaine and Howard opened their Madison home to me for “house sitting” during some of their many trips to Barbados.
    Actually it was their way of offering hospitality and elbow-room to a cramped seminary student.
    What a pleasure to care for various dogs and cats in exchange for living in a lovely home for a few weeks.
    That expansive generosity is reflected in the narrative above.
    What delight they shared with each other, all that marvelous family and even extras, like me.

    Rest in peace, dear people.

  7. Brad Watters
    April 29th, 2011 | 11:10 am

    Here’s another thin slice: Elaine Hevener grew up as a suburban girl. Married to Doug, Elaine Leander also lived in the suburbs. Married to Howard, Elaine Taylor was suburban yet again (and Dedham is a suburban town.) Yet somehow, she had an affinity for, a comfort with, and something of the air of the New York urban about her. The facts include her love of NY theater and the years she lived and studied and worked in Manhattan after Doug was killed. Also, the summer air in Wellfleet refers to Boston and New York even if only by the absence of the rumble. But my experience with Mom included her loyalty to the New Yorker magazine, her love for the well turned phrase, and her comfort with shopping. Although none of those are limited to the purview of the urban dweller, they evoke for me a kind of New York aspect of my mother-in-law – a lady I miss more each day, actually.

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Folsom Funeral Service

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