Gwendolyn “Gwen” Hogan Taylor
Gwendolyn was born to Edwin Clayton & Arvella Swinyard Hogan on December 29, 1921, in Lewiston, Utah. She grew up on a farm; was a rodeo queen and barrel racer—a cowgirl through and through.
Gwendolyn was known for her talents of playing the piano, tap dancing, and singing. She began playing the piano and organ for the LDS church when she was just fourteen. The choirs she sang with won several awards, and she was known for her soprano voice.
She graduated from North Cache High School in 1939—where she excelled in academics, served as a class officer, and participated in several school clubs. She was the valedictorian of her class. She attended Utah State Agricultural College and LDS Business College and was a proud member of the Kappa Delta sorority.
Gwendolyn married Ira Jay Taylor on December 20, 1942, in Lewiston. A marriage that was later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple on August 8, 1960. The couple built their home in American Fork in 1949. It was this family home where Gwendolyn raised her children, taught piano lessons, and welcomed family and friends. Visitors always knew there would be an open back door, a listening ear, and a loving heart.
Gwendolyn taught piano lessons for over 50 years, teaching well into her 70’s. She used her musical talents as the primary organist for 24 years. She always reflected that playing for the primary was her favorite calling.
In addition to playing for primary and relief society, she also served in leadership positions in several church auxiliaries. She served in the presidency of her ward’s primary, young women, and relief society organizations. She also served in the stake Sunday school program. She was an active member of the American Fork 6th ward for 65 years.
In 1978, she began working for Alpine School District. She served as the pianist at Forbes elementary as well as a substitute teacher. She truly enjoyed playing piano for the elementary children, but she found a true gift while working in the adult education program. For 15 years she assisted adult students who were seeking their diplomas. She found joy in seeing other people succeed—she was both humble and grateful. She retired from the district in 1994.
Gwendolyn’s most cherished accomplishment was her family. She welcomed 7 children, 23 grandchildren, 54 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren. Her “pride wall” was always covered with photos of her growing family.
Her children describe her as the perfect mother—a unique mix of no-excuse expectations and unconditional love. They are always amazed that she raised six boys at the same time and retained her patience and sense of humor. She was a constant source of wisdom, perseverance, and courage—facing the challenges life gave her with objectivity and grace. She believed in working hard, laughing often, and loving completely.
Gwendolyn lived in her home on 100 East for 65 years. She was often found reading, completing crossword puzzles, and watching the birds that visited her patio. She was in her home, surrounded by family and the music she loved when she passed away.
Gwendolyn died on July 5, 2014. She is survived by her children Kim (Karen) Taylor, Mike (Paula) Taylor, Randy (Marla) Taylor, and Lisa (Paul) Wright; and her sister Madge (Airus) Bergstrom.
She is preceded in death by her husband Ira Jay Taylor; her sons Jay Clayton, Ira Scott, and Morris Dee (DeDe) Taylor; daughters-in-law Diana Shaw Taylor and Bonnie Bullock Taylor; and grandchildren Jody Taylor Hageman, Jason Blair Angus, and Taylor Paul Wright.
Funeral services will be held on Thurs, July 10, at 11 AM at the American Fork 6th & 8th Ward, 300 N 100 E. A visitation will be held on Wed from 6-8 PM at Anderson and Sons Mortuary, 49 E 100 N in American Fork and Thursday at the church prior to the services from 9:45 to 10:45 AM. Please share a memory at andersonmortury.com.
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American Fork Chapel
49 East 100 North
American Fork, UT 84003
Lone Peak Chapel
6141 West 11000 North
Highland, UT 84003