Maria "Denise" Taylor
On August 19, 1956, Maria Denise entered this world early on a Sunday morning in La Harpe, Illinois. She was the third child of Lester and Esta (Hill) Helton. With her family present, she left for her heavenly home late on Sunday evening, January 14, 2018, at her residence in Fair Grove, Missouri. She was 61 years old.
Most of her young life was spent in Caldwell County in northwest Missouri. She moved with her parents to Marion County, Missouri, during her high school years, and graduated from Palmyra High School. She then attended School of the Ozarks college in Point Lookout, Missouri where she graduated with her bachelor's degree in the spring of 1978.
In September of 1979, she joined the Joplin Police force in Joplin, Missouri and was later promoted to a detective position. In 1982 she applied and was accepted to the Springfield police academy where she graduated at the top of her academy class.
On September 7, 1985, she married Russell Clinton Taylor. The ceremony was witnessed by a small group of family on the front porch of their log cabin. They lived in this home for the 32 years of their married life. Two daughters, Josie and Mattea, were born to them. Denise resigned from her police work before becoming a mother. She faithfully, skillfully, and successfully homeschooled her daughters, believing this to be her most important work.
Denise accepted Jesus as her Lord and Saviour as a young girl and was baptized. The Taylor family attended the Mt. Zion Baptist church in the Charity community for many years. When Mt. Zion closed, they attended both Mission Chapel and Faith Southern Baptist churches, both in Webster County. One of her greatest pleasures was singing hymns and harmonizing with her family. Using their talent, the Taylors freely shared and glorified the Lord with their church families. She was also a wonderful pianist. She delighted her family and friends with her many compositions which she felt were gifts from God.
Denise is survived by her husband, Russell, her daughter Josalyn of the home, her daughter Mattea Weldon (Nathanael) of Marshfield, her mother Esta Helton of Gilman City, Mo., sister Keren Godwin (Bud) of Marshfield, brother Jon Helton of Bethany, Mo., mother and father in law Robert and Cathy Taylor, brothers and sisters in law, Rick (Jane) Taylor, Keith (Della) Taylor, Charlie Taylor, and Jim (Melinda) Taylor, all from the Stark City, Missouri area. She also is survived by 2 uncles, 2 aunts, multiple cousins, nephews and nieces. She was preceded in death by an infant sister Janine, her father Lester, and her brother Karl.
Funeral services will be Saturday, January 20th, at 1 PM at Faith Southern Baptist church in Marshfield under the direction of the Fraker Funeral Home. Visitation will be at noon, also at the church. A private burial will be held following the service at Dice Cemetery in Fairview, Missouri.
Donations may be made to the Maria Taylor Memorial Fund in care of Fraker Funeral Home, Inc. P.O. Box 85, Marshfield, MO 65706.