Obituary: Sandy Halverson Taylor

Nantucket Current •

Sandra (Sandy) Halverson Taylor, 83, passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 14th, 2023, surrounded by her loving family. Sandy was pre-deceased by her beloved husband R. Chapman Taylor III (Ted) of 52 years in 2017. She is survived by their two daughters, Heather Hove Taylor of Exeter, NH, and Kristen (Kristi) Taylor Baxter, and her husband Robert E. Lee Baxter IV of Newfields, NH. In addition, she is survived by her three “grands”, Charles Frederick (Charlie), Benjamin Douglas (Ben), and Julia Wells (Julie) Baxter, several nieces and nephews and their families, and her sister Suzanne (Suzi) Halverson Karnatz of Marrietta, GA. She was pre-deceased by her parents Kasper Hove Halverson (Kap) and Esther Bodmer Halverson (Betty) of Hinsdale, Illinois, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Sandy was born in Geneva, NY. Early on her family relocated to Hinsdale, IL where at the age of 9 she met her future husband. Ted was the big brother of her best friend Anne (Taylor) Mount. She was a proud Red Devil and graduate of HTHS and went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in education at the University of Michigan. Sandy was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority and a lifelong, sometimes frustrated, Michigan football fan. After teaching in NYC and working as an executive secretary in Chicago, she re-connected with Ted, they fell in love, married, moved to Fairfield and eventually North Haven and Hamden, CT.

Sandy loved life. With a strong foundation of faith, she brought joy, passion, generosity, and creativity to every endeavor. Her pride and joy was raising their daughters, Heather and Kristi. She made each of their houses, homes, filling them with love, laughter, delicious home-cooked meals, carefully curated art and antiques, and surrounded them with beautiful gardens. She especially loved holidays and was the hostess with the most-est. She had a way of making everyone feel welcome, and each and every day special.

Sandy was a supportive partner to Ted’s growing McDonald’s franchise business, responsible for the warm, welcoming décor in their stores. She was also a “professional” volunteer and the communities in which she lived benefited greatly. She was a member of the Junior League of New Haven, held leadership roles in the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and her most beloved New Haven Garden Club where she spearheaded “Project Trees,” a major fundraising effort and installation to restore New Haven green’s iconic elm trees. She taught Sunday School and was a member of various parent councils. Sandy was a supremely talented artist and crafter. She started her own business Sandy’s Craft, creating dried flower arrangements, holiday decorations, paintings, and virtually anything she could make. Many remember her annual sales which were an event in their own right.

Sandy and Ted “retired” to their beloved Nantucket in a home on the harbor designed by their architect daughter, Heather. She became an active and integral member of the community, making a lasting impact in numerous organizations. Sandy was an active member and leader in the Nantucket Garden Club where she won many prestigious awards for her stunning arrangements including The Puckett Award, The Munger Award, The Fenwick Medal, The Beattie Medal, and the Ruth Lerrigo Parker Award, which was especially meaningful to Sandy, as Ruth was a close friend.

Sandy was equally dedicated to their beloved First Congregational Church of Nantucket, where she was a proud part of, and led the Ladies Union Circle (LUC), the longest continually running ladies' church organization in the country. As part of her involvement in the LUC, she a was co-author of the “Little Book of Big Thoughts”. Following in the talented footsteps of her mother and renowned pastelist sister, Sandy found her passion for painting. She was personally most proud of her recent acceptance into the Nantucket Artist’s Association as an artist member. She was also active in the Nantucket Basket Museum and The Nantucket Historical Association’s Festival of Wreaths.

In 2021 Sandy relocated to Riverwoods in Exeter, NH, residing only minutes from her daughters and grands. In the short time she was there, she made her presence felt contributing her energy and talents to the community. She cherished the little moments, her beloved, smiling golden retriever Tucker, and her beautiful view of the woods each season. The hand of God was ever present in Sandy’s life. She felt she was truly blessed in every way. She will be dearly missed by those who knew and loved her, but our worlds are ever brighter for having her been part of our life.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, October 27th at the First Congregational Church in Nantucket, 62 Centre Street at 2 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Nantucket Garden Club or the First Congregational Church of Nantucket. Her family would especially like to thank the Exeter Hospital ICU nursing staff for the amazing care they provided in her final days.

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