Karin Gunilla Taylor
January 9, 1936 – June 3, 2018
Karin Gunilla Guggenheim Taylor passed away on June 3, 2018, after coping with dementia for several years. Gunilla was born in Stockholm, Sweden on January 9, 1936, the daughter of Edla Larson and Arther Guggenheim.
Gunilla's uncle gave his life as a German soldier in World War I. In the notice of his death, the Fatherland thanked the family for his sacrifice. Gunilla's father then enlisted and was wounded in combat. Years later, their mother was deported to Auschwitz. She never returned.
Gunilla became interested in figure skating in Stockholm, an interest she continued when the family moved to Goteborg near the Norwegian border after World War II ended. In Goteborg, she was known by the media as the "Hope of Goteborg" and the "Ice Princess". She competed throughout Sweden, placing first in many events.
After graduating from the University of Goteborg, Gunilla attended the Physiotherapist Institute of Southern Sweden at the University of Lund, graduating in 1960.
Gunilla worked in Swedish clinics for two years and in Swiss clinics for two years. She returned to Goteborg to work at Sahlgrenska Hospital University Clinic.
In 1965, taking advantage of the growing demand for physical therapists in the United States, Gunilla obtained a permanent visa and sailed for New York, where she worked at Queens Hospital Center Affiliation in Jamaica, New York.
At the suggestion of a friend, who was working in Durham, she explored opportunities in the Triangle. She began work at Rex Hospital in 1967.
At Rex, Gunilla gained a reputation for charming reluctant patients into doing what they were afraid to do. She continued to use this skill in later years when when she worked in home health care.
Shortly after moving to Raleigh, she met Marvin E. Taylor, Jr., a young attorney from Smithfield, who had recently returned to North Carolina from Manhattan where he was an associate in a New York law firm. Two years later, they were married. Their daughter Karin was born in 1970.
As a result of IBM's decision to locate in the Research Triangle Park in 1965, Swedish families rotated from Stockholm to Raleigh on temporary assignments. Together with Gunilla's family, this small floating group held informal get togethers for Lucia, Christmas and Midsommar. Years later, as the Scandinavian community of American descendants and natives grew, chapters of SWEA, VASA, Friends of Scandinavia and the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce of North Carolina were established in the Triangle. Gunilla's husband played a significant role as co-founder of SACC-NC.
In 1976, she joined her husband in Los Gatos, California after his move in late 1975 to join the legal team at Memorex Corporation, a Silicon Valley company rebuilding after a near miss with bankruptcy. After five years at Memorex, the Taylor family moved to Hickory, North Carolina where Marvin became department counsel for the General Electric facility in Hickory. Barely settled in, GE's new CEO, Jack Welch, began downsizing GE's law department. As a result, Gunilla followed her husband back to Raleigh and private practice.
Gunilla loved Sweden and made numerous trips to visit family and friends there. On her last trip, she attended the 50th reunion of her physical therapy class.
Gunilla was predeceased by her parents and her brothers Gunnar and Arne. She is survived by her husband, their daughter, Karin Elizabeth Guggenheim Taylor, her nephews Ulf and Peter Guggenheim, two great nephews and many American and European friends.
A private service is planned.
The family suggests that memorial donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 5171 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 101, Raleigh, NC 27612, or to a charity of choice.
Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary's Raleigh, NC, (919) 828-4311.
- Services will be private
Karin Gunilla Taylor
June 18, 2018
Karin, introduced her mother to me several years ago and she was always so nice and pleasant to be around. She was always smiling and full of life. It was great to see both of them out and about, enjoying each other's company. A mother-daughter bond is truly amazing! Thank you!
June 16, 2018
Dear Karin and Marvin,
I miss Gunilla more than you can imagine. When I first moved to Raleigh in 1968, a colleague at Needham Broughton High School introduced me to Gunilla . We instantly became good friends and for the next 50 years she was a big part of my life. Gunilla was always kind and generous with her talents. She very tactfully asked one time if she could measure my legs. She pointed out that one leg was almost an inch longer than the other. Thanks to her, I put a small insert in my left shoe and my posture improved for life. That was only the beginning of her sharing her knowledge with friends.
In the early days, Gunilla and I attended the Alliance Francaise where she introduced me to Myriam and Jean-Claude Rault, Parisian friends who became like a family to the two of us. My friendship with Gunilla and the Rault family endured long after my move to the Washington DC suburbs and the Rault's return to Paris. We all had children and our children met each other. Gunilla and Karin and I traveled to France around 1997 and we visited the Rault family at their villa in Provence. A dream come true.
Later in life, Dan and I purchased a vacation home in Wilmington and we had more chances to visit with the Taylor family. Gunilla loved the ocean and walking on the beach. She, Marvin and Karin shared many experiences with us at Wrightsville Beach. I still use the same beach bag which Gunilla gave me 25 years ago. It will continue to be a reminder of our long friendship.
When Dan and I visited Raleigh we had a ritual of meeting the Taylors for lunch at the Carolina Cafe. Our last lunch together was in the fall of 2017. This is a poignant memory for Dan and me now.
Gunilla, I miss you so much! You will be with me in spirit for the rest of my life.
June 11, 2018
Karin and Mr. Taylor,
I am so sorry for your loss. When I saw Gunilla's obituary in the News & Observer, I was flooded with memories. I remember, Karin, how supportive she was of your tennis. Gosh, we had a lot of great times at the matches! You look so much like her in that picture! I remember when we went to your grandmother's house after a match with Smithfield-Selma, and had pizza in the dining room! Gunilla never said anything about her ice skating career -who knew? And it is so sad that her mother disappeared at Auschwitz. I'm sorry that she is no longer with us...just a few days ago I thought of her...just a random thought. I hope that you are well and that your memories of her will help bring you some comfort. I would love to see you. Andy Fowler
June 10, 2018
When I think about Gunilla: Sunshine, Smile, Loyal, Helpful, Love, and many, many more positive attributes to her personality.
Tack for att jag fick lara kanna Dig, Kara Gunilla
(Thanks for letting me know you, Dear Gunilla.)