Obituary For Irene Margaret Taylor
January 17, 1936 - March 3, 2023

Irene Margaret Taylor, 87, of Eden, passed away peacefully Friday, March 3, 2023, at Jacob’s Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday, March 14, 2023, at 11am, at Fair Funeral Home Chapel in Eden. A reception will be held at the Morehead-Fair House following the service. The family will be receiving friends and family at the home of her niece, Stephanie Slaughter, 426 Lake Street, Eden, NC.
Irene Margaret Taylor was born on January 17th, 1936 in Birchington, Kent, England to William Bernard Taylor and Hester Annie “Betty” Potter. World War II began in 1939 when Irene was 3 years old. Irene spent the next 6 years of her life in and out of air raid shelters. The family had their own shelter in their backyard but at times “Betty” had to send Irene and her sister off on a train carrying all of the children away from their families to be safe from harm. Most air raid shelters were cold and damp which led to Irene developing degenerative disc and bone disease causing her debilitating back pain later in he life. After the war, Irene enjoyed being a “Brownie” and going to school. At the age of 15 school ended and Irene went to work and later attended Nursing School in Canterbury, England.
At the age of 24, Irene immigrated to the United States to be a nanny for a little boy and a brand new baby girl in the Pocono Mountains. Not long after, she moved to North Carolina to help her sister Patricia with her brand-new baby, Steven. Irene got a job at Morehead Memorial Hospital and wanted to finish Nursing School, but was told she would have to start her schooling from the beginning. Irene remained working at the hospital until her father in England became ill with TB and Irene left the United States to return to England to help her mother care for her father. Irene got a job at Spurgeon’s Home for Children as a house mother. While at Spurgeon’s, Irene met another house mother, Cynthia Phillips. The two became friends and Irene let Cindy go home with her on weekends because Cindy’s home was too far away.
In 1964, Irene decided to immigrate back to the United States and her friend Cynthia Phillips travelled with her for a vacation. Cynthia loved the United States so much that she applied for an extended visa to stay in the United States. Both began working at Morehead Memorial Hospital. Irene retired from Morehead Memorial Hospital after 32 years of service. Irene’s heath was declining from degenerative disc and bone disease.
Irene was a very active member of Central Christian Church. Irene and Cindy Phillips ran the food pantry for 10 years. Irene loved to help with Vacation Bible School and be around all of the children. Irene never married and never had children of her own, but considered all of her nephews and nieces her children. Over the years, she was an avid bird watcher, loved planting and planning for her gardens with her great-nephew, Christopher. She loved animals and she loved feeding the squirrels and chipmunks that came on her deck. Irene had many beloved dogs and cats, her last being a cat named Gracie.
Irene is survived by her three loving sisters, Patricia Hopper of Eden, Deirdre Jenkins (Ron) of Westgate-on-sea, Kent, England, and special sister, Cynthia Phillips of Eden; six nephews and nieces, Deirdre Hopper of Eden, Stephanie Slaughter (Bobby) of Eden, Trevor Hopper (Dawn) of Cary, Jonathan Hopper (Jana) of Eden, Crossley Wilson (Tracey) of Margate, Kent, England, Andrea Harris (Trevor) of Wilmington, Dartford, Kent, England; seven great-nephews and nieces, Skylar Hopper of Eden, Patrick Billings of Eden, Ryan Billings (Sara) of Eden, Meghan Hopper of Cary, Ethan Hopper of Cary, Sophie and Jack Wilson of Kent, England; great-great-nephews and nieces, Harley Slaughter of Eden, Christopher and Nevaeh Billings of Eden, Nora Billings of Eden, Charlie, Henri, and Sunday of Garlinge, Kent, England.
Irene had two dear friends through the years, Bobbie Shough of Eden and Eloise Woods of Washington, NC.
Irene was preceded in death by her parents, William and Betty Taylor; brother, Patrick Taylor; brother-in-law, Herman Hopper, Jr.; nephew, Steven Hopper; great-nephew, Christopher Hopper.
The family would like to thank the staff of Jacob’s Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation for taking care of Irene in the last three months of her life.
In lieu of flowers, Irene has requested donations be sent to Duke Pediatric Cancer Center.