Elizabeth Tait Taylor, loving wife, devoted mother and influential horticulturist, passed away peacefully on Jan. 6 of complications from pancreatic cancer, diagnosed only two days earlier on her 86th birthday. She was surrounded by family and friends.
Betty lived an amazing life—a strong, resourceful and talented woman—the only lady in a family of six, including her husband, Wyman, of 60 years, and their five sons. She is survived by her boys: Doug, Tom, Steve (Weez), John and Dick; two daughters-in-law: Sheila and Pat; six grandchildren: Shannon, Colin, Bret, Robert, Robinson and Katherine; and two great-grandchildren: Jasmine and Samuel.
Betty was a California girl, born in San Francisco, raised in Napa and Sacramento, transplanted to Connecticut, and finally enjoying her golden years in Sun Valley with Wyman, who preceded her in death in April 2009. She was a world traveler, and spent summers in Glenbrook, Lake Tahoe, Nev., where she will be laid to rest next to Wyman.
Betty was educated at U.C. Berkeley, was a homemaker and extremely enthusiastic gardener. She was known in national garden circles as the guru of Zone 4 gardening. She offered her seeds, bulbs, split plants and knowledge of microclimates freely to horticulturists throughout Idaho, and hosted many Garden Club of America events. Her lavish Gimlet flowerbeds were featured in prominent gardening publications, and will thrive in perpetuity. Betty gave generously of her time, energy and expertise to the Sawtooth Botanical Garden and Sun Valley Garden Club, holding countless workshops and talks. She graciously shared her extensive knowledge, hosting regular tours of her garden.
A celebration of her life will be held in her showcase garden at its peak in early summer.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Sawtooth Botanical Garden or the Hospice and Palliative Care of the Wood River Valley.
And, by all means, share your seeds and bulbs. Betty would enthusiastically approve.