Janet Howell Taylor

October 31, 2022

Janet Howell Taylor, 76, was called home to Glory on Oct. 29, 2022. Earth lost a gem. Heaven had better be well stocked on coffee and powdered doughnuts.

The child of Gordo, AL, served as majorette in the Green Wave high school marching band, earned her education degree at Livingston University and launched into four-plus decades of elementary teaching in Atmore, AL, and Northwest Florida. Along the way she became a coach’s wife, which eventually turned her into a principal’s wife, where the perks became immense: Being on call for extra bus duty whenever a need arose. “Miss Janet” stepped in, just as she did when school assemblies required a piano player, just as she did when her family required anything.

She managed to know about hurricanes forming before anyone else in the family, arranged gift displays on Christmas morning that rivaled Macy’s, and streamlined the punctual deliveries of birthday cards (with “tips”) across the family tree long long before Google calendar existed. She tucked in her kids with the sweetest prayers, made attending their ballgames and recitals a priority, and never overlooked their grammatical felony of ending a sentence with a preposition. (Ask her, “Where’s my book at?” and she replied, “Between the ‘A’ and the ’T’.”) She gave her children so much more than they could ever repay.

She sang to The Judds, danced to “Mustang Sally” and became stirred by “Unchained Melody. She played “Sentimental Journey” on the living room piano, appropriate for a tender, sentimental woman who carried the “worrying Mama” gene. She teared up at the end of every phone call and when her out-of-town kids would drive away. Janet took no day or blessing for granted. And now, in the presence of our Savior, all her worries are washed away.

Janet was preceded in passing by her husband of 54 years, Glenn Taylor, her parents, James Howell and Josephine Burkhalter Howell, lovingly known as Papa Jim and Mama Jo; and a newborn baby brother who has been waiting to yank the ponytail of his big sister in Heaven.

Survivors include Janet’s three children, Allan Taylor (Daphnelys) of Gainesville, FL, Suzanne Helton (Chad) of Atmore, and Mandy Senn-Simmons (Kris) of Chattanooga, TN; and eight grandchildren, Taylor Helton Lee (Austin), Brett Helton (Hannah), Chaston, Parker, Grayson, Jace, Primrose and Amos Burke; and great-grandchildren Ella Kate, Maggie, Rhett, Chapman and Lock; her aunt Martha Marler of Northport, loving sisters-in-law Evonne Beason (Wendell) of Satsuma, AL, and Kathy Raines of Saraland, AL; six loving cousins; and a host of tremendous teaching colleagues and former students across the public school system.

Pallbearers will be Allan Taylor, Chad Helton, Brett Helton, Chaston Helton, Kris Simmons and Parker Senn, and honorary pallbearers, Grayson Simmons and Jace Simmons.

Where will her earthly resting place will be at? Between the ‘A’ and the ’T’ at Oak Hill Cemetery. Miss Janet, it’s our turn to cry as you leave — tears being temporary markers until we dance and sing with you again.


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