Cover photo for Martha "Marthalu" Taylor's Obituary
1929 Martha 2020

Martha "Marthalu" Taylor

May 11, 1929 — December 18, 2020

Houston

Martha Taylor, 91 of Waco, died peacefully on December 18, 2020 at home with family by her side, exactly 35 years after the death of her beloved husband, Bill.

Martha was born on May 11, 1929 to Ione Striebeck Brooks and Sims Palmer Brooks in Waco, Texas. She graduated from Lamar High School in Houston in 1946, and from Baylor University in 1950 with degrees in English Literature and Theatre. Martha was the granddaughter of Dr. S. P. Brooks, president of Baylor University. She was a lifelong supporter of the university, which now houses her rare collection of 80 letters by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

After graduation, Martha worked at KPRC, Houston’s first television station, where she met her husband, Everett William (Bill) Taylor. They were married at South Main Baptist Church on June 7, 1953 and settled in Houston where Bill and business partner, Jack Zilker, had founded National Photographic Laboratories. Bill and Martha were active members of Bethany United Methodist Church. She served on the board of the Girl Scouts of America and led her troop through Europe. Later, Martha worked as a travel agent and joined the Houston Rotary Club.

Known for her sophistication and hospitality, Martha loved the arts, entertaining, and “all things cooking,” studying the history of food here and abroad, eating out with friends, and gathering an impressive collection of cookbooks. She was an active member of many culinary guilds, including the Oxford Symposium where she once presented a paper on cooking cactus.

Martha was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 32 years, Bill Taylor; her brothers, Samuel Brooks and Louis Brooks; and grandchildren, Piers Taylor and George Richards.

She is survived by her son, Brooks Taylor and wife, Kathleen Dennehy-Taylor; her daughter, Lynn Taylor Richards and husband, Samuel Richards; eight grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

The family sincerely thanks those who have cared for Martha in recent years, including her beloved friends.

A service will be held at a later date in Waco, where her final resting place will be.

If remembrances are considered, the family suggests the Dr. and Mrs. Brooks Scholarship Fund at Baylor University.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Martha "Marthalu" Taylor, please visit our flower store.

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Harper-Talasek Funeral Home

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