Barbara VanNeuren ’51 Taylor

Barbara Ann (Van Neuren) Taylor died peacefully Wednesday, March 25, 2020, after nearly 91 fruitful and happy years on this earth.

Barb was born on April 5, 1929, in Grand Rapids, MI, the daughter of John and Henrietta VanNeuren. While she grew up during the Depression, her father always made the days seem special, and she talked throughout her life of their camping trips to Grand Haven and fishing off the pier with him.

Barb graduated from Grand Rapids Union High School and earned her teaching degree from Hope College. She married Jack Taylor of Zeeland in 1953, and after a short time of teaching together in Florida, they settled in Zeeland, where they had sons Philip and Timothy.

She taught at Lincoln Elementary, primarily fourth grade, from 1968 until her retirement in 1994. During those years she was asked to be president of the Zeeland Education Association, a responsibility she did not seek but accepted willingly. Alongside her teaching, she worked in that ZEA post for nearly two decades.

She lived a life of quiet inspiration. Whether it be in her teaching, her parenting, her devotion to her faith, all of the little things that she did provided a great example for others. Barb was a workhorse. If you needed something done, she would accomplish the task without fanfare or fuss.

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