Loretta Taylor

April 18, 1927July 21, 2020

Longtime Fire Mountain resident Loretta (Lollie) Taylor—our feisty, sweet, courageous and beautiful mother, grandmother and great grandmother—left this earthly realm just before midnight on July 21, 2020, at the age of 93. Born Loretta Elaine Lloyd on April 18, 1927 in Los Angeles, CA, Lollie graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School in 1945, at the end of World War II. Shortly after that, she moved with her family down the coast to Oceanside, where she worked for several years at the original Betty’s at the Oceanside Pier. She married Richard (Dick) Taylor in 1951, and had four children—Patricia (Patti), Richard (Bunky), Karen and Linda—all graduates of Oceanside High School.

Known to her baby brother David Lloyd and close friends as “Lolliepop”, our mother loved her home and family, the ocean and body surfing, a good book or magazine, libraries and art museums, traveling, listening to good music, and dancing—especially dancing. Growing up in the 1940’s, she learned to swing dance and jitterbug at the Hollywood Palladium and adored the Big Bands that played there. Many years later, when we were small, we remember her playing their records and dancing around the living room, often with one of us in her arms.

Raising the four of us in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and going back to work toward the end of that period, Lollie had little time for anything else. Then, sometime in the mid 1970’s, as we started to leave home, she discovered the “Belly Up Tavern” in Solana Beach and the Big Band dances they held there several times a week. She became a regular there and made great friends who continued dancing together, even as the music venues changed and life events took some of them off the dance floor too soon.

As anyone who met Lollie soon learned, not only did she love to dance, she also appreciated jazz of all kinds—Dixieland, Chicago, New Orleans, Brazilian, Contemporary, Straight Ahead and hybrids of all of these styles. For more than 40 years, she followed a large group of Southern California’s jazz artists and attended their live concerts whenever she could. Also, with her longtime friend Herb Kratze, Lollie attended weekend “jazz parties” in San Diego, LA, San Francisco, Denver, New York City and New Orleans, and several jazz cruises. Besides traveling for music, Lollie traveled to relax and learn about other cultures. She made several trips to Hawaii and Mexico over the years, ventured to Brazil, El Salvador, and Nepal to visit her daughter Patti who was working there, and in 2000, she joined Herb on a grand tour of Holland, France, Italy and the U.K. that he planned just for her.

Lollie’s smile was infectious. She had a word of encouragement for everyone she met, and it is not an exaggeration to say that wherever she went, she made friends. She also stayed in close touch with them and with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren until the end. She never missed a birthday, sent greeting cards to all of us on special occasions and loved receiving them, too. Over the last decade, she mastered email and Facebook, and she had recently discovered the joys of Facetime and was using it to stay in touch with all of us during the pandemic, but particularly with her great grandchildren.

Lollie was a Christian. She loved Jesus, looked forward to heaven and was not afraid of death. At the age of 93, she looked back on her life, thanked God for every minute of it, and set out courageously on the next leg of her journey. During our time with her, she taught all of us the meaning of love and encouraged us to “dance” though life—although none of us has perfected the art to the degree she did, she will always be our role model and we will NOT stop trying.

Lollie was preceded in death by her brother David, her mother Alberta, and her father Lawrence E. Lloyd, an Oceanside builder. She is survived and will be sorely missed by her four children and their spouses (Pat Taylor and Warren Baise of Washington, DC, Richard and Jadele Taylor of Vista, Karen and Marty Jensen who cared for her in the final year of her life in Oceanside, and Linda and Jack Knepley of Nashville, TN); by her six grandchildren and their spouses (Zachary and Magan Taylor of Leucadia, Ariel Lopez and Bethany and Mark Catalfamo of Oceanside, Taylor Jensen and Nava Young of Oceanside and Angourie Beach, New South Wales, Australia, Teal and Jordan of Encinitas, and Micah Taylor of Vista); and by her 13 great grandchildren (Jacob, Luke, Paul, Silas, Alivia, Scarlett, Mason, Deacon, Mikayla, Jagger, Zion, Greyson and Indigo). She called us “her people” and was always our biggest and proudest fan.

We love you, Mom, and will miss you always. Thank you for giving us life and for all you did for each of us during your own brief stay on this planet. May you dance with the angels now and rest in His perfect peace until we meet again. ___________________________

Please plan to help us celebrate Lollie’s life once the restrictions of COVID-19 have passed. She loved a good party and we will be planning one in her memory as soon as we can.

In the interim, our family welcomes donations in Lollie’s memory to the Musician’s Emergency Fund managed by the Jazz Foundation of America, California Surf Museum, and Elizabeth Hospice.


Loretta Taylor

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