A woman in a purple shirt standing in front of a door.

Mary Ann Taylor

Interview with Mary Ann Taylor

By Mary Williams

When I set up an interview time with Mary Ann Taylor, I had no idea that she was as accomplished as I have come to find out. I also found out that we had much in common:
• 9 grandchildren each – Mary Ann with 8 boys and one girl; me with 7 boys and 2 girls
• A degree in music, but also a degree in something else – Mary Ann in English, me in Business
• An assortment of jobs and interests and travel experiences – some within the field of music, some elsewhere
• A tendency to agree to take on jobs and volunteer projects that strike us as important, thereby giving to our communities, but also spreading ourselves too thin with multiple projects going on at once

Mary Ann is a native Texan (San Angelo) who grew up with a natural knack for music. She played flute and also cello (playing cello in her first semester at college, but eventually giving it up to concentrate on flute). Her flute teacher recommended eight hours of flute practice a day – but that never happened – and she says she didn’t ever get to be as proficient as she might have otherwise. (I could also relate to that.) She played second flute in the San Angelo Symphony as a senior in high school and the third flute and piccolo as an adult until moving to Dallas.

She attended Texas Tech as a music major and married Jerry Taylor in the middle of her sophomore year. He was a fine pianist, band director and eventually church organist, and also played in musicals. When the Viet Nam war came along Jerry volunteered in order to get a better military posting. He and Mary Ann spent a year in South Korea during his military service. This was an interesting time for Mary Ann getting to experience another culture.

On their return, she completed her bachelor’s degree with a double major in music and English at UT Austin and her master’s in English later at Angelo State University.

She raised three sons and worked for Child Protective Services as an investigator for 11 years full time and then another 25 years on contract. She wrote a training film called “Essences” for employees. She taught English at Mountain View College until 2019. Lately she has been working for a media analysis company, monitoring and rating media outlets from Associated Press to Pink Slime, but also local news outlets. They are monitored for reliable/verifiable news and their bias of liberal, center or conservative reporting.

Mary Ann is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and volunteers at her church, with DFW Alliance for Religious Freedom (concentrating on education on first amendment rights), Dallas Interfaith Council (she chaired arranged the Thanksgiving Square Gratitude program where students submitted thoughts of gratitude which Mary Ann wove into a choral reading and the Winter Festival of Faiths at Thanksgiving Square in 2021), Friends of the Library, Keep Duncanville Beautiful board, and as President of our Mu Phi Epsilon chapter – for the second time. Her interests range beyond music and the literary arts to theater, art, science, mathematics and philosophy – and who knows what else.

Many of us were fans of her blog “Bluebonnet Syrup” that she published monthly on Facebook for five years, but recently discontinued. We followed the antics of her young grandsons – the Taylor Boys Demolition and Wake up Service as they spent weekends at her house, plus her musings of a more serious nature. She has started a novel that is in a holding pattern at present. Anyone familiar with her writing style will encourage her to finish it so we can read it. We know it will be wonderful!

Her loving husband and musical partner, Jerry, suffered a traumatic brain injury and passed away two years ago after a few years in a specialized brain injury facility and hospice care. Despite her loss, Mary Ann continues to be a committed and giving person to her family, community and our chapter.

Thanks you
– Mary Ann!